Saturday, June 26, 2010

Worldwide photowalk

Two worldwide events in a row?  You do not have to be naked for this one but you do have to bring your camera.  Scott Kelby's 3rd Annual Worldwide Photowalk is Saturday July 24, 2010.  I am posting this now so that you will have  time to sign up.  Such an awesome event which is happening in a city or country near you. Steve Wetzel, an incredible photographer, deftly led us last year and will be leading us again this year on a twilight walk. Take a look at the official Worldwide Photowalk  website.  It is awe-inspiring to see the exqusite photographs in remote and exotic locations, as well as all over the US. “Can’t stop smiling” By Bossakorn Buena  of Amphawa, Thailand was the "Best in Show." I also met some interesting people: besides all of the participating photographers, a few people came up to me and asked to have their pictures taken to make sure they were not missing out on something important. I saw some groovy street musicians, and even  a guy with a huge boa constrictor wrapped around his neck standing outside the Walgreens.  Here are four of my pictures, too.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Moons Over Madison: Madison's World Naked Bike Ride

My (mandatory) counterclockwise stroll around the Capitol Square for the Farmers Market on Saturday was a feast for the eyes with gorgeous plants and flowers, rhubarb, snap peas, mushrooms, smoked rainbow trout, and cheddar chive scones all vying for my attention. They could not compete, though, when semi-clothed and naked people rode their bicycles around the square! My companion, who is from the Twin Cities, commented, "This is so Madison!" It did happen to be an apparently world wide event protesting independence from oil and positive body image. Check out the video.

Well, after all, we do have  Cows on the Concourse every year at the Farmers Market, too.  And, hey California, very happy cows they are!

The market, even without special events, is such a delightful tradition and the place where you bring every single person who visits you from out of town, and mourn the last one of the season, scooping up apples and pumpkins and mums.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Memorial Union:The Heart and Soul of UW Madison

It is hard to explain the Memorial Union. It is, rather, a feeling. A breeze. The music. Also dogs, kids, students, alumni, sunbathers, dates, great debates, pitchers of beer, popcorn, Babcock Hall orange chocolate chip, sunburst chairs, Hoofer tech boats. Peeling off most of your clothes and jumping into the lake. Arriving three hours before the music starts. On purpose. My friend, Dick Statz, took the picture on the right, which goes a long ways towards capturing the ambiance of the Union. Ahhhhh. . .summer in Madison.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Middleton Office-Mustard Museum and train whistles

I love my office. Now I can step out the front door to put out the Stark "Come on in and talk to a realtor" sign when I have floor duty, and what do I see? Why the National Mustard Museum, of course. On August 7th, we will have cones placed onto our parking spaces to assure us, we can bring a client in, fax an offer or the like, because Middleton will see and experience the first Annual National Mustard Day. It will be huge. Free hots dogs(no ketchup allowed), clowns, the Oscar Mayer Weiner mobile, all right in front of my office on Parmenter Street.

I also love it in the summer time when the doors of our office are open and I have to suspend my conversation in mid-sentence as the train roars on by just 50 ft fro my window. It helps you get a perspective on things, especially if the conversation is needing a bit of separating the emotion from the logic in negotiating of an inspection contingency, for example. After the train passes, a calmer tone has emerged.

One recent Saturday, as I was writing an offer on my computer, I saw a few people strolling by with dogs on leashes. Then a few more folks, with a black lab, Yorkie and a Golden Retriever. Nothing for a while and then 10 happy dog owners in a row. Then two. I never did check out the event on the Internet. It was more fun just experiencing the parade.

The North door of the same exact office steps out onto the sidewalk across from the Village Green, featuring great cheese burgers with sauteed onions, sweet potato fries and a Road Kill burrito. Oh yeah, beer and spicy chili too. A great place to take clients after a showing or to grab a cold one with fellow realtors in the evening.

What do you see out your office window?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Curb Appeal. You Want More Money for Your Home, Don't You?

All homes tend to sell for money after they are prepared properly for the market-we all know that! And the first place to start is on the outside. Ask a friend or neighbor to come over and give you objective advice, because after you live in a home for a while, you might not see the things that will distract home buyers.

First impressions count. If you are preparing to list your home for sale, your yard needs to be inviting. Trim back the bushes and trees, especially if they block views from the windows and make your home difficult to see from the street. Here are a few other low-cost curb appeal improvements that you can do for less than $500:

•Keep the lawn mowed, preferably on the diagonal. Keep the yard raked in the fall.
•Plant yellow flowers such as marigolds or chrysanthemums along the walk or by the front door. The color yellow sells.
•Wash the exterior windows.
•Paint or replace the front door and buy new hardware.
•Power spray the house to get rid of dirt and cobwebs.
•Buy a new welcome mat for the front steps.
•Paint or replace the mailbox.
•Paint your house number on the curb or buy a plaque displaying your house number and install near the entry.
•Wash or replace a front porch light fixture.

Ta da! You are well on your way to creating that good first impression!