Reliving in our eloquence.

It’s time.  This time I’m doing it on the last day of the year rather that one of the first days of the following year.

We all know there are no New Year’s Resolutions here at PBE.  Only goals.  And goals are, apparently not a part of the Pirate Code.

Let’s review last year.

So without further ado, the goals for 2011.

  1. Lose that damned 50 pounds (I figured out that if I don’t I will be essentially riding an extra 350 pounds to LA for the Lifecycle.  Not cute) -I was right, not cute. Fail.
  2. Organize real estate business to optimal efficiency and STAY ORGANIZED -I’d give myself a 50% on this one
  3. Keep marketing plan on target -I’d give myself about 70% on this one
  4. Close three deals a month, every month -I did this some months.  Other months, not so much.  One month I closed five.
  5. Finish landscaping the yards -Yeah, whatever.
  6. Remodel main bath -Swing and a miss
  7. Bench 215 in competition, deadlift 300 -Swing and a miss
  8. Ride faster (15mpg average) and complete AIDS Lifecycle -Completed The Ride at 11.8 mph.
  9. Rock the Lifecycle -Well, duh!
  10. Pie-in-the-sky-goal -Ride for the Roses in Austin. -I did get to Austin, the week after the Ride for the Roses.  Fail.
  11. Attain goals #1, #2, #3 and #4 by May so that I can justify a new S-Works frame and all the accouterments -Fail
  12. Finish a writing project -Fail
  13. Finish broker’s license -Winning
  14. Buy a new vehicle for business -Fail
  15. Get the dog initative rolling -Winning
Certainly an improvement on 2010 results but  2011 was a tough year.  I even got a Christmas card from my stockbroker where he wrote “Next year has got to be better for all of us!”  But here we are on December 31, 2011 and I can say that my mortgage is paid current.  Bank of America assigned it to GreenTree who are a bunch of father-rapers, but I got it paid current.  After I beat a couple of their reps down they got me a guy who does a decent job.  He works with me, doesn’t grind me and we got there by the end of the year.
The training and information at the Cult of Red is intense.  How intense?  They say it’s like getting hit with a fire hose of information and I have to agree.  After the first three or four months you learn to close your mouth so you don’t drown and can breath.  Eventually you learn to duck with the information doesn’t fit your personal business model.  As a matter of fact there is an event coming up that they are and have been hyping pretty heavy.  My team leader told me not to bother.  She maintains I would murder the presenter, it was for people who didn’t have discipline and that’s not my problem.  That was good to hear.  Nice to save that $800 too.
Last year was my first full year at the Cult of Red.  I made top 20.  I don’t know my final numbers but I’ve been as high as #12.  Last I looked I was #15.  There are 119 agents in our office.  The people in front of me have been running their own businesses for a minimum of five years.  I have two years as a buyer’s agent for an REO guy and one year of running my own business.  Next year I want top 10.  Minimum.  I can’t catch the two big dogs next year but #3-10 are definitely vulnerable.  If I catch them, all other problems with the noted exception of my fat ass are self solving.
So without further ado 2012 goals.  <—These have been set now for about three weeks.  I am so done with 2011.
  1. Three closings per month, every month.
  2. Raise average net commission to $7000 <—not that far off, currently $6100. This means raising average sale to $265,000 as my average side is 2.65%
  3. Lose that goddamn 50 pounds
  4. Raise $5000 for the AIDS/Lifecycle <click here to support my ride>
  5. Squat 225, Bench 300 and deadlift 350 in competition.
  6. Ride at 15mph
  7. New car.  It’s that or a bus pass, the BMW is really over my bullshit.
  8. Landscape.
  9. Eliminate personal debt
  10. Remodel main bath
That shouldn’t be that hard.  Yes, it’s less than last year.  If I do #1-4 I get the S-Works frame. No brainer there.  If I do #1-2, #7-10 just happen.
That thing is just bad ass.  And light.  But if I don’t lose some weight my fat ass will break it.
What I learned this year.  Business is like weight training.  You work at a certain level and get strong at that level and then push out.  When you push out, you’re a little sore at night.  And tired.  But then you get used to working at that level and you get strong and you can push out some more.  I have to thank the Cult of Red for how much I’ve learned this year.  I am definitely much better than I was this time last year.  Much better.  I like the culture of learning and I love working with some of the best in our area.  We are not like that pseudo luxury firm with the black and gold signs.  You are completely on your own over there.  At the Cult of Red, every top producer will take time out of their day to teach you something if you stop and ask them.  Hopefully this year, I will be one of those top producers.  Grow, stabilize, push out.  Grow, stabilize, push out.
2011 was not without a ton of adversity.  Crappy deals that I should have left alone, but I know that I can close stuff that no one else can.  That’s great.  I have to vet the clients to be sure their resolve is the same as mine.  I had a couple of deals where I had to fight one party every step of the way.  Not fun.  A couple of agents made the blacklist this year.  I’m just hoping they didn’t do anything that will get me sued.  I won’t be put in that position again.  Live and learn.  The answer to my client is “These people do not have the highest standards.  I can’t promise you there won’t be problems, let’s find something else with less issues.”
We’ll see how it all goes together.  At the end of the day, I got through the year healthy.  It’s all about getting to the other side isn’t it?  You think something is horrible at the time but when it’s over, it’s over.  You didn’t die from it if you’re sitting around talking about it.  Life goes on.
This year the last of my father’s siblings passed.  An era is done.  There is no one left from the Greatest Generation on his side of the family.  They were a rambling gambling bunch who, as my brother said, settled arguments with farm tools.  But as our Aunt Rosa used to say, their mother was a single mother with nine kids.  In the Depression.  And they all made it.
The big changes here were of course the loss of Ike.  I give that dog credit, he went down fighting.  I had told him that the aggression had to stop.  He knew he was out of line.  He started one final fight.  I couldn’t patch up a dog that I was planning on putting down for aggression.  The discussions had already occurred and the decision was already made, the date wasn’t set.  Ike set it for me.  I miss that dog.  There were things about that dog that I just adored.  He was special.
This is the last picture taken of him.  You can see his ear is cut in two.  That’s the sort of bandage job I do at 4:45am.  He’s done, it was in his eyes.  Rest in peace old boy.  You were special.
Norman is here now, aggravating the crap out of me.  He loves me though.  And I’m stuck with him.  No one else wants a trainwreck like him.  Six months and the lick granuloma is as bad as the day he got here.  Nothing helps.  Nothing.  He’s probably got a year in him, so he’s here for the duration.  And then maybe I can have my show dog.

I hate to turn up out of the blue, uninvited

I can’t help it.  I must rage on.

The one guy who actually understands conservatism is a bleeding heart liberal. I’m going to miss Barney Frank. Warts and all. The sonofabitch is just smarter than everybody else.

The war on drugs. I could give a shit. Seriously. I suppose on some levels it made sense when Richard Nixon initially rolled it out. That was forty years ago and it no longer makes sense. Currently there are approximately 1.5 million Americans in jail on drug offenses. All hell is breaking loose on the Mexican border. The police are using para-military tactics on innocent Americans and no progress has really been made. It’s time to walk away. Legalize it. Tax it. Quit spending money fighting it. And quit killing innocent people over it.

Currently the financial cost of the war on drugs is $1,716.77 per second. Yeah, you read that right, per second. So far in 2011 the US government has spent $3,797,048,669 US taxpayer dollars fighting the war on drugs. Now imagine we keep that $3,797,048,669 and collect tax on pot and coke and meth and heroin and whatever other bullshit people want to put into their own bodies. You want to be a crankster loser? Knock yourself out. Nobody cares.

While we were sleeping the police have become paramilitary organizations and have been doing some pretty outragous things. Like ordering a judge to “come out with your hands up“.  Or shooting the wrong guy.  Recently I’ve seen several reports of police doing a paramilitary raid on a home, the owner defending their home and getting killed by the police.  All you gun advocates, it could be you.  Keep your guns, they can pry them from your cold, dead hands, which could be any evening this week if they happen to do a “wrong door” raid on your house.

And God forbid you live with a dog.  Or live next door to a house where the police are executing a search warrant.  Spook was tied to a tree in the NEIGHBOR’S yard.  He was the neighbor’s dog.  The line didn’t come anywhere near the home they were executing the warrant on, so they executed Spook.  They shot the neighbor’s family dog while the three year old daughter ran to the dog and pleaded with them to not shoot her dog.  Not the first dog shot by Gulfport PD this year.

I hope you’re checking out my links today.  Truly epic today.

Here’s the deal.  If the police came to my house and kicked down my door, they would shoot and kill Norman and probably Rita too.  Bubba hopefully would be hiding, but saying he had his balls that day, the police would shoot all three of my dogs.  And I’m not doing anything wrong.  But they could mix my house up with the guy a couple of doors down whose wife just died of cancer.  They have three medical marijuana cards and have 27 plants in the back yard.  But they aren’t my house and I should be fine.  Unless the police screw up and do a wrong door raid and get my house.  And shoot my dogs.  God forbid I hear the ruckus and don’t recognize the guys dressed in black as police and grab a weapon, because they will take me out in a hail of bullets and blame me for having a weapon.  Even though they are not in uniform, executing a paramilitary raid on the wrong house.

Isn’t it time we said enough of this police state?

 

I’m Jesus Christ, and I approved this message.

You know I can’t leave this one alone.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAJNntoRgA

Obama’s war on religion?  What in the hell are you talking about?  And why does Texas keep electing morons to be their Governor.  Seriously.  What is wrong with that state?  We should let them secede, as advocated by Rick Perry who now wants to be President.  We just don’t need another moron  Texan in the White House.  Last good Texan in the White House?  LBJ.

Maybe if you WERE in the pew every Sunday you would know what the hell was actually in the Bible.  You are an idiot!

Our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas?  Certainly not in the Walmart that put up their decorations in freaking AUGUST!  What in the hell are you talking about?  Where in this country can kids not openly celebrate Christmas?  In a mosque?  In a synagogue?  Or are you talking about the few public schools where none of the holidays are celebrated in deference to the diversity of the students?  They shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas or Kwanzaa or Hanukkah or Ramadan or anything else in school  They should be learning about the differences as part of the curriculum and that’s it, you fear mongering fool!

As an aside, I never ranted on Black Friday and the woman who pepper sprayed the crowd, or the numerous shootings or the fact that you can camp out to buy something at Best Buy but you can’t camp out to protest the fact that this country is becoming a banana republic.  You know, a banana republic that has the wealthy landowners and the kitchen help.  Hint: we are the kitchen help.  But I digress.

As far as gays in the military, Rick Perry, why do you hate our troops?

The Brother said years ago that the right wing felt it was ok to tear off the mask and show who they really are.  And then he equated it to the television show V.

If I were better at Photoshop, or owned the software, I would be making Rick Perry’s face tear off and show the despicable reptile that lurks underneath.  No wonder we’re seeing so many of these masks.

Also from a show named V.

Rick Perry, Man of Faith?  No, Rick Perry charlatan.

This guy I love.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdHuwXwcUm0

Well, not that exact guy, but you know what I mean.

I’m a thoroughbred that’s what she said

Well, it looks like one of the rodeo clowns fell out of the clown car.  Too bad, he was fun to watch.  Embarrassing, but fun.

The Republican concept that you beat a negro with another negro was offensive.  Especially since their negro spoke ebonics.  There I said it.  And if God told Herman Cain to run for President, who was Little Herman taking his marching orders from?

God: “Herman, I want you to run for President, your country needs you”

Herman: “Thank you Lord”

God: “Little Herman, I want you to  find every adulteress you can and show her the key to heaven”

Because God is a flip flopper.

Because y’all have been denied me.

Bullshit.  And it was the media’s fault that Herman Cain’s campaign went up in flames.  It had nothing to do with the 14 women he was banging who weren’t named Mrs. Cain.

Powerful men with wandering willies has gone on for ages.  Quit pretending like it doesn’t.  It’s a fact of life.  Some are faithful, others are not.  Standing up in front of the media and lying doesn’t help anything.  If you did it, stand up like a man.  Nothing pisses me off more than someone denying, denying and then having to do a mea culpa.  It’s your life.  You did it.  Own up to it.  I don’t know why we care unless you lie about it.  Or tell us God told you to run for President.  Or hold yourself up as an holier than thou vessel from God and have a hotel room full of male hookers and meth.

I don’t want to see another President going before the American people like Bill Clinton had to.  That is one of the things from his Presidency that really pisses me off.  That and the Glass Steagall thing.  God knows we don’t need another Checkers speech either.

This year I implore the Republicans to bring forth a viable candidate.  This country deserves better than your freak show has provided us.  Santorum?  Never.  Bachman?  That’s a whole week’s worth of posts on butterfly wingnuts.  Romney?  I love the “anybody but the Mormon faction” even though he’s the guy that would probably do the best job of the current freak parade.   Perry?  Did we not learn about Governors from Texas already?   Paul?  Interesting concepts that won’t convert to workable solutions, although I think he gets what conservatism really is.  Gingrich?  He’s been out of politics for 13 years, it’s changed.  Oh yeah and he was one of the architects of the current toxic Congressional situation.  And he’s a well known philanderer.  You can’t clean up bringing divorce papers to your wife while she is in the hospital for cancer.  And you can’t clean up the affair that lead to his third marriage.  And are we going to elect a guy who has been married three times?  He’s damaged goods on every level, not to mention a smug son-of-a-bitch.

 

 

I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone

I’m a little behind here. It’s really time for my annual Black Friday outrage post, but it’s already World AIDS Day.

World AIDS day means that it’s a year later and there is no cure. It means another 50,000 Americans were infected with the virus last year. It means the pandemic rages on in sub-Saharan Africa.

I was listening to NPR the other morning and they were talking about how HIV works. I can’t find the article on their website to link back but the Dr. they were interviewing was talking about how it’s a three pronged issue. Prevention. Vaccination. Management.

There is a lot of different places for money to have to go with that scenario. He was saying that basically if a patient in sub-Saharan Africa could be taking the current treatment and miss a week and end up with full blown AIDS in as little as a week.  Apparently the virus is so prolific that it adapts and mutates that quickly.

Currently 20% of the people in the US who have AIDS don’t know their status.  Really.

And here we go…I’m riding the AIDS/Lifecycle again this year.

It was Day 4 last year.  The speaker in the mess tent was talking about how some of us would only ride that year and others would ride until there was a cure.  He talked about how it didn’t matter what category you fell in to that this Ride will have changed your life.  At the end of Day 4 the Ride had changed my ass too.  There wasn’t enough chamois cream in the world, I’d been to the medical unit’s “Butt Clinic” twice by then and I really wanted a hot bath.

I thought “I’m a one and out” to myself.  Then my cycling rep Russ came and sat down next to me.  He started talking about the Ride and how much he loved the Ride.  Russ is the guy whose daughter saved the motorcyclist’s life only to find out he was HIV+.  Russ rambled on for a while about the importance of the Ride and his love for everyone that was out there.  And then he got up and left.

Being on a bike for 8 hours a day gives you plenty of time to think, although Day 5 was the short day.  40 miles.  Red dresses.  By the end of Day 5 I knew I wasn’t a one and outter at all.

I’m in.

I’m in for all the same reasons as I was last year.  The December Project last year was pretty awesome, but I’m not doing anything like that this year.  I’ll think of something else interesting.  I don’t know what it’s going to be.

The December Project woefully overlooked an amazing woman, a firebrand and a powerful advocate against AIDS.

This year’s ride will be dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor.  Since her passing last March I’ve been on an Elizabeth Taylor film festival.  I don’t have that much time to watch movies, but I’ve been working my way through all of them.  Current favorite is Reflections in a Golden Eye with The Sandpiper as a close runner up.  But more importantly she founded amfAR.  That matters.

Good on Alicia Keys for stepping up big time.  She’s all over Twitter this morning.

Click here to support my ride.

As always, thank you for your support.