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A couple of Active Rain tips for newbies (and perhaps some veterans, too) - 12/28/07 11:33 PM
I have discovered a couple of items here at Active Rain during my time here, and I thought it might be valuable to share this information with my friends. I am probably not the first to write about this, but I only recently figured out that it is possible to invite others to any group in which you are a member. I guess I have spent a lot of my time in the groups where I am a founder and/or moderator (Family Ties, Active Rain Addicts, and Inspired by Song!). I have invited countless people to my own groups over the (83 comments)
Top Employers in Austin Texas - Looking for a job? These may be worth considering - 12/27/07 09:09 PM
Occasionally, we have potential home buyers who are considering moving to Austin, and they ask about the primary employers here in this area. Each year, the Austin Relocation Guide releases a list of the top Austin employers, both public and private. Here is the latest list: 1. The State of Texas - 65,688 employees - http://www.governor.state.tx.us/ Top agencies include the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Water Development Board, and the Texas Department of Health. 2. Dell Computer, Inc. - Approx. 17,000 employees - http://www.dell.com/ Dell was started by Michael Dell in his dorm room (27 comments)
Yesterday, while my mom was still in town, we decided to go do a bit of shopping with the whole family. We were headed to Lakeline Mall, and we originally considered going to that area to eat. On the way there, I decided that would be ill-advised, considering it was the day after Christmas and it was exactly "lunchtime" (i.e. around noon). Instead, we opted to go to Zorba, which is a Greek restaurant located near Dell in Round Rock, just in front of the Wal-Mart.
Although the food was superb, the communication skills of the employees who were placed in (15 comments)
The only day of the year that my kids get up before I do - 12/25/07 08:51 PM
I hope all of you had a terrific Christmas today. We had a great morning and it really looked like a gift factory exploded in our living room. We had kept the gifts in the garage to avoid the reign of terror of our 21-month old daughter, and it took three of us (me, my wife and my mom) well over half an hour to bring them in last night after the kids went to sleep. My mom was here and she was a great help, as always. My kids got up about two hours earlier than normal, which may sound (42 comments)
Christmas Time is Finally Here! - 12/24/07 05:23 PM
I have not seen children this excited about Christmas in all of my days. My kids are REALLY looking forward to tomorrow. Since my wife and I have had a tremendous flurry of extracurricular activities to deal with this month, we just got around to decorating the outside of our home yesterday (I may post pictures later if I get the energy). Our six-year old daughter kept asking us to decorate the front door with lights this year, and since I am wrapped around her little finger, her wish became my command. As we were working on the lights, I had (25 comments)
What Can I Buy in the Austin, Texas area for Under $150,000? Seriously? - 12/22/07 03:23 PM
Are you considering a move to Austin? Are you looking for an investment property here in Texas? Either way, we can help. Take a look at some of the incredible values still available here when compared with other markets around the country (we have others): This home is located in Round Rock, which is the home of Dell Computer's headquarters office. It was built in 2004, and it features a covered patio, a master bath with separate shower and garden tub, nice kitchen with center island and tile backsplash, and a large living area open to the kitchen. With 3 bedrooms, 2 (13 comments)
Join Me and My Family on Our Recent Trip to the Mall - You Won't Regret It! - 12/22/07 12:46 PM
We went shopping at Lakeline Mall in Cedar Park a couple of nights ago with all three kids in tow. We first visited JC Penney so that my wife could pick out some clothes for her mom. Since I was on kid duty, I watched the kids play "hide and seek" in the clothes racks and throughout the department. I remember doing the same thing when I was little, but I didn't have any siblings, so my version basically consisted of me hiding until my mom was in a near panic looking for me, then popping out. Surprise! Why are there (15 comments)
Transported by Song - A Look Back on My Collection of Records from 1977-1978 - 12/21/07 09:16 PM
In honor of our recently formed group Inspired by Song!, I wanted to talk about a few songs that will literally transport me in time whenever I hear them. A couple of these could also be considered guilty pleasures, but they really are a part of my personal history. When I was a kid, I used to spend hours in my room listening to music. I had stacks of 45's that I enjoyed. Has it been 30 years already? I was an only child, so I had a lot of "alone time" and my mom would usually indulge me when it came (38 comments)
My Kids' Greatest Hits - A Collection of All Posts About My Children - 12/21/07 12:02 AM
Ever since I started blogging, almost every week I have had a post about my children at some point. Since a good number of my subscribers are here for that very reason, I thought it would be nice to collect all of these posts in one place. That way, I can link back to this post in any future kid-related blogs to make it easy to find these. I am planning to edit this post over time as new articles are written. I am also considering grouping all of my humorous articles in one place, and all of my Localism stuff. (14 comments)
Recently, Austin, Texas was named one of the "Top 10 Greenest Cities in America" by MSN City Guides. This comes as no surprise to those of us who live and work in this great town. I would like to thank Margaret Woda for bringing this to my attention. Serving both as headquarters for Whole Foods Market and Dell Computer and home base for Lance Armstrong (at least part of the year)and Sandra Bullock, Austin also leads the entire country in wind power and biodiesel production. Additionally, it has built advanced plug-in hybrid vehicles into its energy strategy. Austin Energy offers one of (4 comments)
I was ready at last. Time to fire up the DeLorean. The flux capacitor is working properly and fully charged. I have to get it up to 88 miles per hour in the mall parking lot before I slam into the department store. Let’s set the dial here…DECEMBER 20, 1987I was a senior in high school that year. Wow! This will be an interesting experience. I don't look forward to seeing how young I looked back then compared to now.Here we go…let’s get this baby moving. We are at 78….80….84…86….87…..88!(BOOM!)Whoa! I forgot that the mall and the parking lot didn’t exist (28 comments)
In the course of my real estate career, I have had many people try to reach into my pocket and ask for a piece of my paycheck. I recently wrote a post about this subject: A Lesson Learned in my Real Estate Career Though it is not always the case, I often feel like the people who ask for my money through rebates, discounts, etc. are trying to bully me. I learned a long time ago that the most effective way to deal with a bully is to confront him. Am I advocating punching a client in the face? No. (166 comments)
One of my early mentors - 12/18/07 04:18 PM
I attended private school throughout my education, from kindergarten through college. In elementary school, I spent much of my time trying to make my friends laugh, usually in a way that would get them in trouble but not me. I remember those years very fondly and I am still in touch with one of my friends from first grade, who still lives in the Dallas area. I switched schools after the sixth grade (that's as far as you could go at my elementary school), and I went to the same school from 7th grade through high school.. One of my teachers (13 comments)
On Friday, I was contacted by Texas Realtor magazine, which is published by the Texas Association of Realtors. They wanted to interview me with regard to how our company handles our bookkeeping, finances, tax preparations, etc. Obviously, I was happy to take some time for this, especially when she mentioned that she had found me via Active Rain. I also joked with her and thanked her for providing me with an easy blog topic! "Are you pretty active there on Active Rain?", she asked. "Oh, yes. I spend a good deal of time writing and hanging out there," I replied. Here's her reply, (40 comments)
Texas Jumping Beans has become the birthday party destination of choice for our kids (we had my son's party there yesterday afternoon). We have had four parties there so far, and it's still tons of fun for all of us. There are about eight to ten very large inflatable "jumpers" (hence the name). They change them out pretty regularly. Yesterday, during our visit, there was a jumper shaped like a pirate ship, and another like a long train with an obstacle course inside. They also have a large inflatable slide, which is where the kids tend to congregate most often. With (33 comments)
Don't You (Forget About Me) - A Real Estate Lesson from 1985 - 12/10/07 06:01 PM
Please bear with me, as this is actually real-estate related. If you are adventurous, click on each of the links to see the YouTube videos for each song. When I was about 15, I saw Simple Minds in concert in Dallas at the now-defunct Bronco Bowl with my good friend Philip Sewell. This was a relatively small venue and from what I understand, a Home Depot now stands in that spot. That is a sad commentary to me, but it is what it is. I think this was the second concert that I ever attended. The opening band was The Call, which I (41 comments)
I am thankful to have been in this business for over a decade, and I still truly enjoy what I do for a living. Although I don't really consider myself a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks, many of the lessons that I have come away with during my career have been difficult to swallow. Thankfully, I try to take these tough times and use them going forward, both in my own transactions and as I train other agents who work with me. I have come to realize that any client who asks for part of my commission in the (16 comments)
Update on David and Jackie - The Power of Prayer - 12/06/07 01:51 PM
Hello everybody - A few friends had inquired about the current status for my friend David and my mother-in-law Jackie, so I thought another post would be in order, especially since there is some news to report. If you are not aware of what I am referring to here, and you want to get up to speed on each of them, you can read these previous posts of mine: A Day of Clarity for my Family My Friend David Update on my mother-in-law Jackie and my friend David Another update on Jackie and David David went home from the hospital Monday, and they are working on (33 comments)
Simply put, our 20-month old daughter, Abby, is hilarious. As I write this, I am watching her as she gingerly places stickers on her head, which is soft and blond with not too much hair. All of our kids are funny and entertaining, which is why I have had ample material to write about 10 posts on them so far. In fact, there are many of my subscribers and regular readers who like these posts the best of all. I hope this post does not disappoint. We have noticed a pattern that I may have mentioned on my blog previously. Abby's favorite (51 comments)
A Couple of Tips when dealing with Difficult Personalities... - 12/04/07 01:03 AM
Your cell phone rings. You check the caller ID. Oh, great. It's that agent you are working with trying to get that luxury home under contract. Uh oh. Although you want to get the deal done, you already don't like talking to him, since he is almost invariably rude and abrasive. YOU: Hello, this is _______. OTHER AGENT: Hi, this is Rudy McRude. I was calling to let you know that I had to use smelling salts on my client when I went to present your offer. YOU: Really? I thought it was pretty reasonable. OTHER AGENT: Well, I had (58 comments)
On ABC's "Today Show" on Friday, nationally renowned real estate expert Barbara Corcoran gave her opinion on the top five up-and-coming markets in the country. She named Austin as the top up-and-coming market nationally, and she stated that it is currently a terrific time to buy Austin Real Estate, specifically in the SoCo (South Congress) area, just south of downtown. The Austin Business Journal also featured a recent article about Austin's appreciation over the past year, which was almost 10%. This places Austin at seventh in the country for 2006-07. Clearly, it is a great time to buy property in this area! Ms. Corcoran (18 comments)
As of this writing, there are 59,865 members here at Active Rain. To give you a sense of how many people that represents, the Indianapolis Colts' RCA Dome stadium holds 60,272 ticket holders. With that in mind, this post is sort of like stepping out to the middle of the field to proclaim my love for certain music that can definitely be considered...questionable. I don't know how many AR members actively read, post and comment here, but the potential exists for roughly 60,000 people to shun me after they read this one. If you haven't already seen it in my blog or (65 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.