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February 1, 2012

Grumpy Old Coot

     On a recent vacation that required the renting of a vehicle and visiting a couple different addresses, I brought with me my own GPS and preprogrammed the addresses we intended to visit.  The process was flawless, and left me with no doubt that technology on this occasion saved me considerable aggravation. I have never been afraid of maps, rather geography and directional skills were always the least of my weaknesses. Yet I cannot deny that the availability of... View Article

February 1, 2012

When is the Best Time to Buy?

Two of Guelph’s largest owners of apartment buildings got their start in Real Estate with my father, at Herb Neumann Real Estate.  Clark McDaniel and the lateDenzil Williams started acquiring properties at Herb Neumann Real Estate in the mid 70’s and acquired over a 1000 units through the Bob Rae era, which they still hold asWilliams and McDaniel.  Skyline Property Management principals Jason and Martin Castellan got their start in the early 90’s with us, ironically by buying up all the Cole Road semis they... View Article

January 1, 2012

Toddlers and Hockey Pants

September is no man’s land for televised sports fans. The NFL is playing meaningless preseason games which are generally concussion-less affairs hardly worth televising. The PGA has completed all four of its majors and is stumbling through a contrived playoff format that requires a calculator and actuarial charts. The NHL season is a month away and baseball – well, it doesn’t really count. So with my usual sporting preferences not currently airing, I have resorted to channel surfing more than... View Article

January 1, 2012

Answering the Bell

The metaphoric relationship that exists between organized sports and real life is the reason many of us enroll our children into sports.  Through sports our children can learn discipline, the benefits of repeated practice and the wonderful example that together, we can accomplish more than the sum of our talents might suggest possible. They will also learn that despite their very best efforts the opposition through superior talent, harder work, or better luck, will sometimes win. Indeed perhaps the most... View Article

January 1, 2012

Cui Bono

      If you have an email address, you will be the recipient of unwanted solicitations. These emails, while often masked as something else, have a common end game in mind – your money. Some are direct. The number of former members of the Nigerian government needing my assistance to cash a big inheritance cheque never ceases to amaze me. If the email starts out “dearest trusted honourable Mr. Jeffrey”, and proceeds to ask for my council, I’m pretty... View Article

November 1, 2011

Progress?

     Ontario is fast approaching a bit of a surprising 20th anniversary.  In June 1992 the government of Bob Rae, back when he was a New Democrat, passed the Retail Business Holidays act, officially opening the doors to Sunday shopping in Ontario.  I say it’s a surprising anniversary, because its difficult to fathom that as recently as 20 years ago, retailers were prohibited by law from opening their doors to their customers on Sunday.  It’s similarly difficult to imagine that until relatively... View Article

November 1, 2011

Growing Old

      Recently I’ve encountered more and more reminders that I am shifting from one generation to another. I look at people twenty years my junior and think that still ought to be me. Then I’ll catch a glimpse of my children walking through the house and think that I cannot possibly have kids that so closely resemble adults.  Though my body reminds me otherwise, I still feel like I should be in my twenties.  Yet the reminders that... View Article

August 1, 2011

Not Afraid to Fail

     Like many sales-related industries, the real estate sales industry is fertile territory for panderers of self help books, tapes, DVD’s, etc, and as such I have become vaguely familiar with the genre. Emphasis on the word “vaguely”, for though I have over the years begun reading many of these books, I confess that I have finished very few. Not because I have issue with the content – to the contrary, I generally find myself nodding in agreement as... View Article

June 1, 2011

Climb Everest or Mow the Lawn?

     The Globe and Mail’s weekend addition always has a great obituary section that I read without fail. In addition to an obit-itorial, often about a world figure that has passed away in the preceding week there are family sponsored obituaries about local citizens. I would presume that the quarter page in which some families invest is not an inexpensive proposition. Consequently, the folks of whom you read, are usually what one might consider high achievers. It is never... View Article