James J. Griffin
James is a Certified Distressed Property Expert® and Real Estate consultant in San Diego.
RT @ShortSail_SD: Made it to Mission Bay and back! Yes. Check our first real trip off the list. And we only sorta broke the new toilet.
The only thing redeemable about breaking a bone as an adult is barbiturates.
Insomnia day 2. #bestworkweek
Ate a salad for lunch today. #growingup
RT @jimcramer: Professor Schiller wants to drop mortgage deduction for the rich.. The housing lobby won't let that happen..
Too many conflicting 8am appointments.
Eye has been watering all day. Its been a blurry and probably emotional experience.
RT @bournecycle: I know we're cousins, and this is crazy, but I drive a staircar. Call me Maeby?
Paying dearly this morning for the free drinks last night. #padres
RT @olinhyde: "Why" is always more interesting than "how" yet asked far less often.
@CuttingEdgeHist @aunderscorek Jesus come on. Don't get me freaking out about stuff like that. Tshits are the devil.
@aunderscorek no. Just fell pretty hard.
Went to orthopedic doc to follow up on collar bone. Told elbow is also broken. Dammit.
@aunderscorek nope. Went to the er in quite a but of pain. Yay drugs! Totally snapped clavicle.
I may have referenced here (or perhaps I haven’t, I rarely post) that I am currently embroiled in a sales training marathon called BOLD. Business Objectives, a Life by Design (not default).
I believe they had to add that parenthetical aside when they realized that design or default would work there. It sends the wrong message using default since that’s just the sort of thing most people think about the well off, that they lucked into it, or they defaulted into it.
That’s not really relevant to the point of this post any how. I don’t like sales. I have opined numerous times that sales was a dirty word. Despite my open mind on the process, BOLD hasn’t really changed my opinion on the matter. I’ve always found the idea that “everyone is in sales… don’t you have to convince others your opinion is the one that should be adopted?” fairly attractive. There’s a nugget of truth in that, but to make the leap from that sentiment to the affirmation “I’m a great salesman” is one hell of a leap.
One of the exercises we’ve had to do daily as homework is write down our goals. 1 - 10, or whatever feels appropriate, in a journal and chronicle the changes. i.e. I want to sell 10 houses this year morphs into I want to sell 15 houses in the course of a day or two. Our eyes get wider and our appetites for what is possible grows larger.
What I’ve found is that my goals have become, upon a day to day review, less focused on business and more on doing something else. I’m far less concerned with making a great deal of money as money in a vacuum has no real purpose. So, my goals have started to reflect a desire to finish my law degree. To do non-profit or more likely, public policy work. To rekindle my studious self and to eschew this “sales” persona I’ve been cultivating this year.
The idea that I would be a good salesman, or more specifically, real estate salesman on the most basic and retail level, was an interesting experiment, but the idea that it can continue another year feels caustic.
At this time next year I’m resolved less to selling 20 homes (because, frankly, who cares) than I am to gearing up to start an MPP program.
If nothing else, I would whole heartily recommend this sales condition program, as it delivered on it’s promise. It promised a breakthrough, I just don’t think this is necessarily the breakthrough it was designed to provide.
Going back over this account I realized the last time I wrote something here was when I broke my arm 8 months ago. That’s really the last time I wrote anything at all, which is certainly a problem.
I am taking a real estate conditioning course, BOLD, through Keller Williams currently, and one of the homework requirements is that we journal. They gave us a nice spiral bound purple journal to keep our thoughts physically logged and accounted for. I haven’t used it once. As I said, I haven’t written anything in 8 months.
I did want to reflect on some thoughts I’ve had about the program, life in general and the intervening 8 months that speak directly to my new years resolution. More specifically, they speak to why I haven’t accomplished these meager goals in 8 months. So, in the ensuing posts, I imagine I’m going to rekindle this blog and use it as it was originally intended, as a lens through which I could refocus my thoughts.
As for now, I need to go pick up my car. Functioning brakes are a wonderfully useful addition to a motor vehicle.
After breaking my arm last week I’ve realized that being able to bend one’s dominant elbow is often taken for granted.
I have been no different.
I am recovering from a 2 day new years bender, so it seems as an appropriate time as any to go over my tacit New Year’s resolutions. Either that or I succumb to the dramamine induced exhaustion I’m experiencing.
No reason I can’t do both. Goal number one, see the silver lining in everything so I can have my cake and eat it too.
By the end of 2011 I’d like to have:
1. Returned to my initial success at school. I’ve been slacking as of late and I don’t see that changing anytime soon without a self imposed yet arbitrary time table for my return. New Years is as good as any other time.
2. I’d like to see my business be considered a success in 2011. What that means is that I’d like to be financially comfortable. I’d like to not have to worry about money, save more and indulge my appetites when I so wish. I’d like to be able to splurge on the occasional item and not have it break the bank.
2010 was a success in this area, but I’d like to continue down the right track now that I’ve gone largely independent.
3. I’d like to be conversant in Spanish by the end of 2011. I don’t know if this one is going to happen, but I’d like to see it make the list.
I’m also going to resolve to do some more reading and writing in this 2011. I had stopped that nearly entirely since I started school and I have been feeling the itch. Those are more goals, loosely defined, as opposed to things I’m resolved to do. I’ve already begun to do them so I think I will stick with them.
Today is the last day of vacation and it is time to hit the ground running in the new year. I’m looking forward to it. That might be because of all the end of year motivational material I’ve been reading, but I’ll take it. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth… as they say.
I have developed a penchant for losing (usually important) documents within the confines of my quasi-studio apartment. Really, there are so few square feet for these items to hide, yet instead of admitting defeat, they seem to redouble their efforts to disappear.
You win important documents. I will be re-ordering copies of you from your respective state agency overlords.
Seriously. What’s the point of working today?
Most everyone I know is working a half day. Granted, I haven’t been to work since last Thursday due to the flu, but a half day sounds about right.
like the idea of the location based aspect of social media. I really do. The idea that I can wake up from a mid-afternoon nap, turn on foursquare and know where a good deal of my friends are, in theory seems like a good idea.
Knowing who, for instance, is about to cause some ruckus by singing karaoke at the Lamplighter way too early in the evening, is better than continuing the race for mayorship at your dentist.
One I want to go to, the other, obviously, is karaoke.
Unfortunately so much of the time is spent at the office. Or wherever it is you work. I know where I’m supposed to be for nine hours a day. After that I’m tired. None of this needs to be broadcast via GPS enabled android apps.
Just more evidence that the static workplace is a thing of the past in the information economy.
When I upgraded apartments, the one thing that didn’t make the transition to the new space was my extensive collection of books. I love books and have accumulated quite a few over the years. Basically everything that I had to buy for college, if it was in the liberal education tradition, has stayed with me.
Unfortunately my apartment, while perfect in every way, doesn’t lend itself to the myriad of bookshelves that would be required to house my personal library. Plus I broke two of the three I was planning on taking with me.
So I bought a kindle. It should arrive shortly and I should be ecstatic. Reading a great deal more has been a nagging goal of mine for the past 18 or so months. It seems like when I started law school I simply stopped reading and writing on anything that wasn’t directly law related. As a result I’ve felt my expressive side wain.
I have written in the past that a major problem I had with the idea of the Kindle was that you couldn’t buy a “used” book. There was no such thing. New books, while cheaper than their physical counterpart, were all that was available. I want authors to be given their due, but I also like the idea of a shared book. Recently our group shared The Ridiculous Race, each taking a turn, one after the other, reading this riotously funny tale. Copies sold: 1.
I still haven’t come to grips with how I feel about it.
What I had completely forgotten about and can only describe as a total win is that the entirety of the public domain is available. All of the history, philosophy and classic novels I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t are now completely free. And more importantly, always at my finger tips.
I believe I will now actually read The Art of War. A task that has been eluding me for years.
One of the biggest issues I’ve had working full time, going to school and trying to get a real estate career off the ground is the detriment those activities have had on my cooking time.
I used to enjoy cooking. I really did. The problem is that it is time consuming. When a plethora of free time abounds, cooking is a relaxing, zen like experience of creation. When free time is not so abundant, cooking becomes an exercise in anxiety.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with a slow cooker. A name brand crock pot to be exact. My first creation, yellow curry, was alright, if not bland. I think a portion of my problem was copying the recipe from a website based in the mid-west. Something about the mid-west tells me that they’re not going to be 100% on nailing down asian spices.
My next project, tomorrow, will be a red bean chili. If I can’t make chili, I shouldn’t even be showing up to the game.
As a follow up to the awful sentiment I was expressing about our ability to sacrifice. The NY Times has a great article about various folding bikes. I’m sure these could be much more popular in flat, dense, metro areas. Unlike San Diego which is hilly, fraught with canyons and spread out in a true expression of manifest destiny.
This weekend I was supremely bored. I’m not sure why, I just was. There was plenty to do, but instead I fired up netflix and watched a “documentary” about global warming. I put that in quotes since it had a written/fictional narrative set in the year 2055 when, essentially, the wheels had come off the cart.
I know there are a lot of people doing a lot of good in this arena and not making a hell of a lot of progress. At least it seems to me, a layman, that progress is scant.
When I was watching the documentary they profiled a salesman / project developer for wind farms in England. It seems that everyone he encounters loves the idea of wind energy, so long as those wind turbines are not located “in their backyard.” His contention was that the majority of projects fail due to localized opposition groups who don’t want their view “ruined.” I wonder how long someone can keep running into that type of short sighted opposition before it becomes too frustrating to continue?
While reading part of BigThink.com this morning the issue of sacrifice was made by Matthew Nisbet. There was a panel discussion at American University I would have liked to attend. They were discussing a book The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice.
From the book’s synopsis:
The idea of sacrifice is the unspoken issue of environmental politics. Politicians, the media, and many environmentalists assume that well-off populations won’t make sacrifices now for future environmental benefits and won’t change their patterns and perceptions of consumption to make ecological room for the world’s three billion or so poor eager to improve their standard of living.The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice challenges these assumptions, arguing that they limit our policy options, weaken our ability to imagine bold action for change, and blind us to the ways sacrifice already figures in everyday life. The concept of sacrifice has been curiously unexamined in both activist and academic conversations about environmental politics, and this book is the first to confront it directly.
I’m reminded of the Jimmy Carter speech in the 70s. I wasn’t alive for that one, but the idea that if we’re cold we ought to put on a sweater instead of turning up the heat doesn’t seem foreign to me. It doesn’t even seem like a “sacrifice.” Obviously a lot of people see the issue differently.
I’ve been doing a lot of my commuting using my new electric bike. It costs something like 1 to 2 cents to recharge the battery which is good for 16 miles. I only commute 8 per day, so I really don’t need a car and the bike suits my needs just fine. But I also made a conscious decision to live near where my office is. This particular mode of transportation wouldn’t really work for me if I lived in downtown and worked in Sorrento Valley. The bike plus public transportation would simply take too long.
In short, I’d have to sacrifice something. Convenience? Comfort? Choice of apartment?
Going forward towards the tipping point scientists describe in greenhouse gas emissions we’re all going to need to sacrifice. As a society we’re going to need to see this issue as a collective moral issue. I’m just not convinced that we’ll get there as a group. I’m saddened by that thought, but I can’t shake it. I just don’t know if we’ll get there in time.
Back from DC and finally feeling like a human being again. I didn’t end up seeing much of the mall, but I did walk from Adams Morgan to the White House in a zombie like state.
From there, it was on to the WWII, Lincoln and Vietnam memorials. Simply breathtaking. I had no idea how large the Lincoln memorial really is. Massive doesn’t begin to describe it. I was reminded, scale wise, of South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore. I just wish that I’d been feeling better and could have really spent some time there.
But I got to walk around, saw the capital, saw the FDIC, the Washington Monument and walked through the National Air and Space museum. That was really nice.
This morning was the first day I rode my bike to the island. I’m going to try and do that at least three times a week. Taking the ferry across the bay in the morning turns out to be so relaxing. Something about the still water and the lack of sound makes the trip worth it. I suppose from beginning to end the bike commute takes an extra fifteen or so minutes, but those minutes are really worth it.
Going to test out the trip home this afternoon. That’s the uphill journey, so we’ll see how that goes.
True to form I showed up in DC on Thursday ridiculously sick. I haven’t been sick like this in ages and it’s actually quite annoying.
As a result, I haven’t seen the mall yet. Each day so far has been spent exploring the intricacies of the District’s neighborhoods, local haunts, and more interesting dives. Comparing each to San Diego’s lovable neighborhoods, local haunts and dives just to see how living here would stack up. So far, quite favorably.
Tomorrow morning I’ll be getting up early (having finished reading just about everything I can to make the trip down to the mall efficient) and heading down to the DC I’ve seen in Aaron Sorkin works. That’s really the DC I came to see and I’m disappointed I’ll only have one day exploring.
Highlights of the trip thus far have been Adams Morgan, a home away from home for the college crowd and hipster alike. Live music every night of the week seems to be the staple for each venue on the popular street. Russia House downtown lived up to it’s name. If you want vodka, go to Russia House.
The architecture has to be a close second. As opposed to San Diego where everything is stucco and wood, everything in DC is brick or marble. It’s really impressive. The architecture tends to evoke nostalgic feelings even though I’ve never been here. I’m not sure what those feelings are supposed to represent. Perhaps importance. I did feel as though I’d be a great diplomat… simply from walking around the brick buildings.
Tomorrow is the day. Nothing like Day 5 to actually accomplish what you set out to do on day 1.
As I sit here waiting for my five hour flight I can’t help but think that we do live in a wonderful age.
That being said … where is my supersonic jet?
Spoiled. I know.
These last few months with the move, the excess work, and the general change have left me feeling detached and out of place.
I think I’ve lost sight of some general goals I had for the beginning of the year. I allowed them to slip into the day to day malaise of summer. Not my finest moment.
I woke up this morning thinking I needed to get back on track. Redouble efforts and refocus energies.
I’ll do that today.
When I decided to go to law school online I knew in my heart of hearts that the number one question I’d have a problem with is “Oh you’re in law school? Where do you go?”
It happens every time. So much so that I don’t bother to tell people that I’m going anymore. I just keep that to myself. If someone happens to mention it to mutual company I immediately have to go into the song and dance of why I went there in the first place.
Let me tell you, if I didn’t believe in my reasons before going, I most certainly do now. I’ve repeated the same tired reasons for what seems like hundreds of times at dozens of cocktail parties.
I went because it was useful for work. It was cheap. It was convenient.
Some people find the whole idea extremely interesting. From a pedagogical perspective. No one finds it impressive. I think a lot of people immediately dismiss me for having made this decision.
If I honestly cared what they thought, I think it would bother me. But I don’t. I do find it hilarious how similar the reaction is from law students. They’re extremely dismissive. They’ve met someone who isn’t going to be their competition upon graduation.
Attorneys, especially practicing attorneys who haven’t “made it,” seem to have an entirely different perspective on the matter. A solid chunk of those at the bottom think the idea was genius. They’d be a lot happier doing the public policy work they’re doing now, or the family law, or the whatever, if it weren’t for the soul crippling debt they find themselves a slave to.
Debt they racked up at a second rate law school. After all, there doesn’t seem to be too much difference between the checks written to a state school of questionable character and the best regional private school. Once it passes a certain point, the money stops seeming real. Human beings only have so much capacity for numerical conceptualizing.
All in all, I’m happy with my decision. I think it’s good for my career, for my clients and for those I deal with generally. I just wish I had a short answer other than “it’s cheap.”