Monday, December 31, 2007
New Year Greetings from Acadia National Park
Friday, December 21, 2007
Gas Pump Safety Alert
I don't usually pass these stories on, but this one made a lot of sense. So I googled the source of the story (see link) and decided it needs to be shared. I never would have considered a scenerio like the story below.
He said that while she was pumping gas, a guy slipped into the back seat of her car on the other side and the attendant had already called the police. She became frightened and looked out in time to see her car door open and the guy slip out. The report is that the new gang initiation thing is to bring back a woman and/or her car.. One way they are doing this is crawling under women's cars while they're pumping gas or at grocery stores in the nighttime .The other way is slipping into unattended cars and kidnapping the women.
Please be extra careful going to and from your car at night. If at all possible, don't go alone! "
1. ALWAYS lock your car doors, even if you're gone for just a second! 2. Check underneath your car when approaching it for reentry, and check in the back before getting in.3. Always be aware of your surroundings and of other individuals in your general vicinity, particularly at night!
Please have a Safe New Year! REALTOR® gramEpat
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
"What's it all about"
'What's it all about'?....
Time for a break!
Enjoy the holidays!
"When you walk, let your heart lead the way'
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
"I am Woman, Hear me Roar"
Special to The New York Times.
August 14, 1927, Sunday
SEATTLE, Wash., Aug. 13 1927. -- "Far from the home and from the orthodox responsibilities of home-making sits the woman REALTOR® , but no line can be drawn where her home leaves off and her office begins. More than 200 women gathered here yesterday for the first national conference of women REALTORS® . "
According to statistics that I found on Realtor.org, women are making strides in the profession, making up nearly 54 percent of REALTORS® licensed through the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
Sunday, December 16, 2007
People are like tea bags
Ever wonder why the Chinese and Japanese have some of the longest life-expectancy rates in the world. …here’s the secret:
Saturday, December 15, 2007
It's Easy to be Green:Recycle Batteries
When I googled 'recycling batteries' (dry-cell, rechargable, automotive, button, lead-acid) I discovered that batteries contain metals, acids and other compounds (like Mercury) that can be hazardous when released into the environment.
How to recycle the most common battery types:
*Disposal of Alkaline & Carbon-Zinc ("Heavy Duty") batteries: In Germany it seems that every supermarket has a collection bin for batteries. In the USA there fewer options. The experts recommend individuals place these with normal household trash, unless your trash is incinerated or you are restricted by local regulations. Some communities collect batteries as part of a recycling program, but the batteries generally end up in a hazardous waste landfill. Several reclamation companies are now processing these batteries, so the situation may improve soon.
The only alternative that I know about is rechargeable batteries. Facilities designed to recycle other rechargeables do not want any type of dry cell battery.
Click this link for more information : **Recycled Batteries
**Recycling Nickel-Cadmium batteries: can be recycled'
**Recycling Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Recycling Lithium Ion (Li-Ion): "Many newer laptop computers and other portable use Nickel Metal Hydride or Lithium-Ion batteries.
**Disposal: Button Cell Batteries, Recycling:
Most small, round "button cell" type batteries contain **Mercury, silver, cadmium, lithium or other heavy metals as their main component. These materials leak in landfills, can enter the water table, and are even worse when incinerated. Many shops that replace watch and hearing aid batteries will accept your batteries for recycling at no charge.
**Recycling: Automotive batteries: "Automotive batteries contain lead. Lead is both toxic and valuable; Virtually any place that sells batteries will take them back, most state laws require it.
**Recycling non-automotive lead based batteries: Gel cells and sealed lead-acid batteries are commonly used in industrial equipment, emergency lighting, and alarm systems. The same recycling process applies as with automotive batteries.
**Note: Mercury: Mercury has been used in a wide variety of products, even kid's flashing sneakers.
Mercury is a deadly poison. Chronic exposure leads to brain damage . Mercury containing products of any source must be disposed/recycled as "household hazardous waste". Contact your garbage or recycling company for days & times. Do not mess around with mercury.
GramE tip: Keeping "your" batteries charged is important. Find your comfort level and recharge occasionally.
You are too important to end up on a hazardous waste pile!
Friday, December 14, 2007
I know that a passport is now required when traveling anywhere outside of the USA.
When I initially inquired about the application process I found out that all I needed to do to start the process was to go to the local post office or town office to pick up the application. The town clerk instructed me to complete the form and return it with my original birth certificate (proof of US citizenship) , proof of identity (social security card, driver’s license), and 2 passport photos. The town clerk mentioned that AAA members can get passport photos done at a discounted rate in nearby locations.
The government also provides a useful guide for first time applicants.
FYI: If you're traveling within two weeks and need a passport or foreign visa for travel, you can contact one of the thirteen Passport Agencies who will be able to assist you.
What if a Passport is lost or stolen?
* A report of the loss or theft must be filed immediately to the State Department and a report needs to be filed with the local police.
Keep the passport in a safe location….and have a safe trip!
I think Santa has an RSS feed for gramEpat's blog. Maybe he will leave a AAA gift card in my stocking to pay for my passport photos!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
John Travolta and "It's the Thought that Counts"
The written verse on the card was lovely and very much appreciated. However, I’m certain that the 'direcktrecycling’ envelope was the 'thoughtful hidden message' for me! “It’s the thought that counts!” Thanks, Andie! REALTOR® gramEpat
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The Price for Overpacking
I should have considered distributing the weight between the 2 suitcases. Most airlines now limit luggage to one carry-on and two checked pieces. Airline baggage restrictions are getting tougher—and more expensive. Depending on the airline, I could have been charged as $25-$50 for the extra weight. It would have been cheaper to distribute the weight between 2 checked bags. It could cost as much as $80 for an extra bag. I saved the $25 on that end of the trip and ended up spending $25 to purchase an extra bag to ‘redistribute the weight’ for the return trip! (I always end up returning with more that I started with!). I can think of better ways to spend $25-$80 unnecessarily!
Here's a GramEpat tip: If you plan to check 2 bags…also plan to share the packing…so that there are clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc. in EACH bag…just in case one of them does not arrive at your destination. Another travel tip for women: Wear basic black (or brown/beige) and wear layers for travel clothes. Silk scarves,accessories and several light weight wrinkle free travel shirts (silk blouses?) can be rolled and tucked in the bottom of your briefcase. And, if possible, try to find a way to make room for an extra pair of shoes in your carryon. You will be surprised at how much extra stress you can handle if you have 'happy feet'.
9 tips for packing light
Learn to pack like a pro
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Tranquility ,Terrain and Technology
…The tranquility, the beauty, and the excuse to not go to the office ASAP!!….(Even though the road crews are usually out 24/7 keeping the roads plowed).
I don't think I'll ever get over the excitement that I used to feel as a kid when I woke up and discovered that school was canceled and it was a SNOW DAY. It will always be a reason to celebrate! Of course, on Mt. Desert Island, I had excuses to celebrate several times this past week! There may be many celebrations before this winter is over!...and I may start running out of excuses.
For those of us who live in the ‘boonies’ , the terrain is mountainous and many of us live on private roads, well off the beaten path. We are nowhere near the high speed wireless connections available to the ‘city dwellers’ who live in downtown Somesville or uptown Bar Harbor.
Ask Mr. Internet: Extreme Web Site Makeovers •
Tech Watch: Does Your Web Site Have Curb Appeal? •
Web Site Makeovers: Look Your Best Online
9 Ways to Make Your Web Site Stick •
11 Tips for a Great Web Site
Let it snow….I have lots to learn before Mud Season arrives and the world starts spinning faster again! REALTOR® gramEpat
Monday, December 10, 2007
It's Easy to be Green: Pesky Packing Peanuts
Some peanuts are not made of plastic. If you find a peanut that looks like a cheese puff, try licking it. (Or, you may prefer to drop it in water to see if it dissolves!) One type of peanut is made from vegetable starch, and dissolves almost instantly in water. These taste somewhat like rice cakes, and are just as safe in a compost bin. If you buy peanuts, strongly consider switching to this type. They're better for the environment, and much much easier to get rid of.
Disposal of rigid foam blocks (such as those protecting new equipment) is problematic. The materials are very lightweight, they're made from natural gas: it is easy to end up with a net environmental loss just transporting the stuff. For most individuals recycling this material is not worth it, though future research into local small-scale reprocessing may change this. If you have large quantities of material, a list of collection sites is available from The Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers. Have fun packaging, wrapping and unwrapping....and brushing off and vacuuming up those pesky pieces! REALTOR® gramEpat
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Where are you Kirmie?
Saturday, December 8, 2007
"And Miles to Go Before I Sleep"
Thursday, December 6, 2007
REALTORS® "Can & Will Give What They Do Have"
The ‘word’ was spreading…..asking who wanted to car pool to another fundraising event next week…and I heard comments like: ' I wish I could, but I have my local firemen’s training group session that night'….'Sorry, I can’t come, my boy scout troop is holding their annual Chilly bake off'…'I would love to join you but that’s my hospital BOD meeting night' …'Oops…Can’t attend because it’s the night of the Bank Shareholders Meeting'…'I would love to support the next auction , but the Library is holding their fundraiser the same night'….and many other comments that were not excuses not to support another holiday fundraiser. They were choices for how and where the members were going to spend their time, energy, money, love and support for community involvement.
Maybe “You cannot give what you do not have” ..but I have discovered that most REALTORS® and Associates ...thruout the year...‘can and will’ give what they do have!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
It's Easy to be Green:Computer Re-Use
If you've waited too long you'll have to recycle, not reuse. Electronics contain lead and other chemicals, so they should not be landfilled (and some jurisdictions are working on banning such material from landfills). One good option is dropping off at Office Depot (See www.officedepot.com/recycle). They'll accept most office-type electronics, and small TV's. REALTOR® gramEpat
(I hope Santa knows that I have a 'fired up' wood stove at the bottom of our chimney. I can't imagine that much heat would be good for electronics! Maybe he's a Maine REALTOR and has a card reader for the new lockboxes! )
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Will the land be 'under all' 5000 years from now?
According to articles posted online, in ancient Egypt when the Nile River overflowed its banks and washed out farm boundaries, boundaries were re-established through the application of simple geometry. The Egyptian command of ancient surveying is affirmed by the nearly perfect squareness and north-south orientation of the Great Pyramid of Giza, built c. 2700 BC. More interesting information can be viewed on Wikipedia.
*Romans established a tax register of conquered lands (300 AD).
*In England, Domesday Book by William the Conqueror (1086) contained names of the land owners, area, and and quality
*Continental Europe's Cadastre (comprehensive register of real property) was created in 1808 (A cadastre loses its value if register and maps are not constantly updated.
Most recently, distance measurements can be fully robotic, and can even e-mail point data to the office computer and connect to satellite positioning systems, such as a Global Positioning System (GPS).’Under All is the Land’ …I cannot begin to imagine how it will be measured for future generations, 5000 years from now! REALTOR® gramEpat
Monday, December 3, 2007
It's Easy to Be Green: Cell Phone Recycling
It seems too bad that tens of millions of used cellular telephones are put in boxes every year, never to be used again. Phones are useful, and contain toxic materials. Why not consider donating your old wireless phone . It can be recycled.
Recycled phones go overseas to people who can't get regular telephone service, or to people in abusive relationships (the phones are programmed to call 911 only). Try to collect as many parts as possible.Phones or phone parts (like batteries & cords) are collected. Before you drop off your phone and /or at any Sprint PCS or Staples chain store, check with your local organizations to see if anyone is doing frundraising projects...or see CollectiveGood or WirelessRecycling.com for mailing information.
It's easy to have a green holiday.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
"Let it Snow"
In the Northeast, you cannot predict the weather!Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region. Winter storms can result in flooding, storm surge, closed highways, blocked roads, downed power lines and hypothermia. Here are a few GramE tips to ad to the Fema list: Be sure to keep plenty of clothes, a blanket, bottled water, dry food snacks, a flashlight and emergency medical kit in your car. Don't forget your cell phone. the window scraper, gloves and a portable shovel. It would be great to also have a bag of kitty litter and/or bagged salt handy for icy situations.
Maine REALTORS ® If you are planning to attend the Portland Educational Extravaganza tomorrow, please drive carefully. REALTOR® gramEpat
Saturday, December 1, 2007
"It Ain't broke. It just lacks Duct Tape"
Did you know that Duck Products annually sponsors a competition that offers a college scholarship to the person who creates the most stylish prom formal wear made from duct tape. The number of uses to which duct tape can be put is a source of humor (many of these are collected in books by "The Duct Tape Guys").
One of Duck Products previous competitions was for vehicles covered in duct tape called "Stuck in Traffic".
There is even a medical theory that, "Theoretically, the rubber adhesive could somehow stimulate the immune system! "
The Duct Tape Guys (Jim Berg and Tim Nyberg) as of 2005 have written seven books about duct tape. Their bestselling books have sold over 1.5 million copies and feature real and wacky uses of duct tape. Is there anything that your can't fix with Duct Tape? To quote Jim and Tim: "It Ain't Broke, It Just Lacks Duct Tape".
If you've been a good little girl or boy , maybe Santa will leave the sticky stuff in your stocking this year ! REALTOR® gramEpat
Friday, November 30, 2007
Holiday Flying Tips
AARP Members also save on airline travel, car rental, cruises, hotels, vacations, and more. It's all in AARP Member Discounts and Services
“You don’t stop playing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop playing”. Ben Franklin
Stress is a part of life. You can't avoid it, but you can learn to manage it! REALTOR® gramEpat
Thursday, November 29, 2007
It's Easy to be Green: Reuse Holiday Cards
The St. Jude's program has been such a success, they have millions of cards and may never need any more. But you can help them by buying the cards, and help to close the recycling loop. To help recycle cards, you send either entire cards, or cards with the backs cut off. To save cost, bundle the cards and send via UPS ground or request the "library book rate" at the post office. Address: St. Jude's Card Recycling, 100 St. Jude Street, Post Office Box 60100, Boulder City, NV 89006. Or perhaps you know of a group in your community who could use the cards for a similar fund raising program. If you want to create your own 'Green projects' for the Holidays, Ruby Glen.com has some great suggestions. It's easy to be GREEN . Have Fun!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"A Safe Work Place is No Accident"
The National Association of Realtors® also recently produced a REALTOR® Safety Week Kit that was packed with powerful tools that you can use to build members’ awareness of potential on-the-job dangers and the proper procedures that can save lives.
This "10 Second Rule " article was part of the kit that was provided.
1 0 - S E C O N D R U L E
Inattention is one of the main reasons people find themselves in dangerous situations.
Take a few precious seconds during the course of your day to assess your surroundings.
Take 2 Seconds when you arrive at your destination.
• Is there any questionable activity in the area?
• Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location?
• Can you be blocked in the driveway by a prospect’s vehicle?
Take 2 Seconds after you step out of your car.
• Are there suspicious people around?
• Do you know exactly where you’re going?
Take 2 Seconds as you walk towards your destination.
• Are people coming and going or is the area unusually quiet?
• Do you observe any obstacles or hiding places in the parking lot or along
• Is anyone loitering in the area?
Take 2 Seconds at the door.
• Do you have an uneasy feeling as you’re walking in?
• Is someone following you in?
Take 2 Seconds as soon as you enter your destination.
• Does anything seem out of place?
• Is anyone present who shouldn’t be there or who isn’t expected?
10 Seconds TOTAL
Taking in your surroundings lets you spot and avoid danger. Make it a habit. Then
share it with someone else.
(Appeared in “What You Can Do About Safety,” REALTOR® Magazine, September 2000.
Courtesy Night Owl/Vector Security, Landover, MD.) PLEASE....Stay safe! REALTOR® gramEpat
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
It's Easy to be Green.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Are you Still Waiting?
ARE YOU STILL WAITING ? "If only I'd invested then!"- from Farm and Land Realtor Magazine, October, 1917 REALTOR® gramEpat
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Where are the women in this family? I'm going to have to search the 'family tree' to find out when women began to appear in Association photos. "Stay tuned"
My Realtor Family was founded as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges on May 12, 1908 at the YMCA Auditorium in Chicago, IL. In 1981 there were three earlier unsuccessful attempts at organizing a national real estate group. With 120 founding members, 19 Boards, and one State Association, the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges' objective was "to unite the real estate men of America for the purpose of effectively exerting a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests." The Code of Ethics was adopted in 1913 with the Golden Rule as its theme.
As in all families, the dynamics change , but traditions continue to be passed down through the generations. NAR started out as a group of 120 men...and now has over a million men and women. And for generations to come, we will continue to pass on the NAR code of ethics tradition: "Treat Others, as You Would Like to be Treated"! To my REALTOR® Family ( men and women! ) : "Best Wishes for the Holidays" . REALTOR® gramEpat
Saturday, November 24, 2007
*BFF* Gift, Google Search
Friday, November 23, 2007
Turkey 'Soup for the Soul'
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
“I’m Supa’, I’m Upright and I’m Movin’ Forward”
He always ‘makes my day’. His attitude helps remind me to have a positive attitude. Applying that to today’s real estate market, I am reminded that we need to stay upright and move forward. If we make an effort to master technology, and learn to integrate new channels of communication into our businesses we will be able to keep up with the needs of our clients…young and ‘older’.
Taking the long-term perspective, we will notice that (according to NAR economists John Tucillo and Lawrence Yun) “The demographics of home buying and selling are shifting significantly, away from baby boomers and toward Generations X and Y.” “Baby boomers are still fueling demand for second homes in communities across the country. However, younger generations are emerging as market forces, and their influence will change how real estate practitioners do business.”
To keep up with the needs of the Generations X and Y younger consumer, we are going to need to pay attention to their perception of value…which includes: time, stress, convenience and service.
If we continue to remain educated, ‘stay upright, and keep moving forward’ we will be able to meet the needs of our younger clients.
Have fun taking the “Supa” classes that are offered in your area. (Maine REALTORS® …I look forward to seeing you at the Portland Educational Extravaganza in December!)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
What a Wonderful World
In May 2008, NAR is celebrating 100 years of advocacy on behalf of the real estate professionals and property owners in this country.
This centennial celebration is an opportunity to reflect on the 100 years of innovation in the marketing of real estate, 100 years of setting and promoting professional standards, and 100 years of bringing home the American Dream to more people. I am proud to be a member of this organization that is the Voice for Real Estate and the hope for future generations.
“What a Wonderful World!” REALTOR ® GramEpat
Monday, November 19, 2007
"Like a Bridge over Troubled Waters"
Don't be discouraged by the recent news media coverage of the housing market. A recent NAR survey shows that Americans still believe that buying a home is a good financial decision.
(Nov. 14) NAR's 2007 National Housing Pulse Survey shows Americans are more concerned about obtaining a mortgage but remain convinced that buying a home is a good long-term investment.
Let your REALTOR® 'ease your mind' and help you obtain the American dream of Home Ownership!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
4 PM and Nowhere to Be
Friday, November 16, 2007
"Sleep like a Baby"
How Sweet it is to be Loved by You!
According toWikipedia,James Vernon Taylor is an American singer songwriter and guitarist born in Belont, Mass. His career began in the mid-1960s, but he found his audience in the early 1970s, singing sensitive and gentle acoustic songs.
"Sweet Baby James",....."You've got a Friend" , Realtor® gramEpat