Category: "Misc. Stuff"


September 17th, 2006

I have a friend who sends me regular “horoscope” readings. I have to admit that I read them… and I do look at the horoscopes, sometimes, in the newspaper. I have always had a little interest in the spiritual, metaphysical, paranormal… etc.

I have friends who have visited Sedona. I have friends who do astrological charting and others who do trance channeling. I have friends who do “readings” of all sorts. My brother is really into ghosts and unidentified flying objects (among other things). I admit to having a bit of intuition, myself. I guess I come by it honestly- a glimpse at my family tree would explain a lot. (I’ll save that for another rant).

I’ve always hated to admit that I’m an Aries… I wasn’t supposed to be an Aries… My mother’s “due date” was late January and she even had X-rays on Ground Hog Day and they told her to go home and rest- the baby’s head was engaged and birth was imminent. HA!

Somehow, I waited until the 16th of April! Dad was back and forth between hospitals visiting my mother (and me) and also visiting his grandfather, Richard (Dick) Hynes, who was gravely ill and passed away the same morning (more on that, in the family tree, later).

And so it was, I was born under the constellation “Aries”. The ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians and Greeks all called this group of stars "The Ram." The early Egyptians associated Aries with Amon-Re, the ram-headed supreme Sun God who symbolized power and fertility. Also, this faint and tiny cluster of stars is believed by some to have been the stellar pattern that the Magi and other astrologers looked to in their search for the Star of Bethlehem, which was foretold in biblical prophesies and promised to be a sign of the imminent birth of a king. Some people think Jesus was a Capricorn, but I’ve also heard he was actually born in July.

In spite of my denials, I’ve been told that I am the epitome of an Aries woman. I used to take offence until I did some research:

Aries is the First Sign of the Zodiac, the point where it begins its cycle on the Vernal Equinox. Thus, it is the herald of the Astrological New Year. Symbolized by an animal of great courage, Aries is related to dawn, the Season of Spring, and the beginning of life. Much like the Spirit of Spring, those born under Aries are forever looking forward, never backward. In essence, Aries governs leadership and initiative, as well as using energy to make things happen. Aries subjects are vital, instinctual and forever young. They are the perpetual Children of the Zodiac, are constantly in search of identity. These are joyful, dynamic, assertive, outspoken and brave individuals who celebrate life.

Aries natives will most likely be drawn to pursuits of an intellectual nature. They possess excellent business ability and are prolific moneymakers, particularly successful in all commercial areas. Being extremely generous, Aries is continually seeking to do well to others but tends to be careless in discriminating between worthy and unworthy objects of charity.

Aries can be intolerant, impatient, impulsive and overly emotional. Despite their apparent mean-looking features, most Aries subjects are rather attractive, especially in the face (which is, indeed, their strong point).

Also known as the Sign of the Pioneer or Warrior, Aries is Positive in polarity.
The general characteristics of Positive Signs broadly match those for the extrovert personality and such individuals are naturally impulsive, buoyant, communicative and sociable.

Since there is an inherent desire to rule and command, Aries natives are noble, charming and despite apparent mean-looking features, most Aries subjects are rather attractive, especially in the face (which is, indeed, their strong point).

Ruled as she is by the planet Mars, the female Aries loves nothing more than a good battle (verbal or physical) and is always ready to meet any challenge. The trouble is that, while she can forget about the whole thing within ten seconds, the offended party is liable to take a little longer to get over the confrontation. The spiritual Fire burning within these individuals consumes emotion and allows the ability to move forgive and forget.

They are also sympathetic, tender and warm-hearted, as well as being magnetic and progressive. Fond of music and dancing, those governed by Aries love harmony, order and beauty in all things. Their tastes are likely to be luxurious and they will be at their best in the midst of elegant surroundings and, if leaders, also in social functions. Aries people are often considered to be wealthier than they actually are...possibly because they dress well and tend to possess a commanding appearance. It is a mistake, however, to think that the Aries female wants to be spoiled. This is actually the last thing she desires. This woman adores nothing more than a challenge and boredom is something she is unable to tolerate.

A vast majority of them will be deeply interested in the occult and metaphysical studies.

Aries individuals have high ideals and a broad vision, coupled with passion and assertiveness. Theirs is an inspirational and contagious "can-do" attitude that lacks nothing in the way of courage and initiative. It has been said that Fire Signs rule the spirit and primal life force. They are prone to have strong egos, so being the center of attention comes naturally to those governed by Fire.

Aries women make excellent designers and good writers. They are highly capable of holding positions of authority, trust and responsibility. However, the Aries female will become impatient and irritable under restraint and it would be best if she were left alone to carry out any duties once she has a thorough understanding of what is required.

Positive Signs tend to crave excitement and thus, are inclined to direct their energies outward into the world around them. Aries is the most flagrantly extrovert of the Positive Signs. Aries is ruled by fire, governed by the Planet Mars. Fire individuals are impulsive, energetic, active and inspired.

Those ruled by Fire can appear brusque and hurried. They tend to rush through conversations in order to reach the heart of the matter. They are easily bored with the same people and ideas, and constantly search for more with which to feed their fiery souls. They often feel compelled by some higher force to take off on a personal quest or adventure.

Positive Traits: pioneering, adventurous, energetic, courageous, enterprising, confident, dynamic, quick-witted and freedom-loving
Negative Traits: selfish, quick-tempered, impulsive, impatient and foolhardy
Fire is prone to deliberately and openly do things that will irritate others to the point of anger. Fire is straightforward and has no reservations about hurting the feelings of others...prone to inflict both physical and mental pain.
Likes: action, challenge, spontaneity, championing causes and coming in first
The lucky number for Aries is nine (also known as the Novena). The Hebrews referred to the number nine as representing immutable truth. In Buddhist tradition, nine is the supreme spiritual power.
The lucky day for those who fall under the jurisdiction of Aries is Tuesday.
Colour: Crimson Red
Dislikes: waiting, tyranny, failure, lack of opposition and the advice of others
Apostle: Peter
Prophet: Malachi
Anatomy: Rules the head, face, brain and upper teeth
Corresponding Tarot Card: The Emperor
Animals: Ram, Sheep and Owl
Watchword: Action
Keynote: Hope
Physical Manifestation: Impetus
Mental Manifestation: Enterprise
Motto: Never Defeated
Quote: I Am

The most fascinating thing I have ever read about an Aries is: Since Fire subjects are generally warm, enthusiastic and outgoing, they require an abundance of "fuel" and are constantly seeking for something new upon which to "feed." Those who fall under the jurisdiction of Fire, however, are not truly to blame for they are usually quite oblivious to the effects of their massive energy.

A look at a list of notable Arians explains even more…. If I truly share any characteristics with most of these people, whatever it is- it really can’t be my fault! So maybe, just maybe, it isn’t so bad being an Aries!

Hans Christian Andersen, Desi Arnaz, Herb Alpert, Alan Arkin, Louie Anderson, Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle, John Astin, Albert Gore, Patricia Arquette, Don Adams, Maya Angelou, Alexander the Great, Louis Armstrong, Jann Arden, Dante Alighieri, John James Audubon, Madeline Albright
Anita Bryant, Marlon Brando, Bismarck, Chaeli Layne Boken, Jerry Brown, Pearl Bailey, Wernher von Braun, Warren Beatty, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Barkin, Victoria (Posh Spice) Beckham, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Benson, Roger Bannister, Joseph Barbera, Clyde Barrow, Dirk Bogarde, August Anheuser Busch Jr., Elmer Bernstein, Guatama Buddha, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Samuel Beckett, Jonathon Brandis, Richie Blackmore, Lucrezia Borgia, Lauren Bacall, Joan Baez, Joan Blondell, Lloyd Bridges, Alexander Graham Bell, Carol Burnett, Antonio Banderas, James Brown, Jack Black, Robert Browning, Charlotte Bronte, Irving Berlin, Tony Blair, Robert the Bruce, May Britt
Julie Christie, Charles Chaplin, Terry-Anne Moore-Davis-Hughes-Cramer, Casanova, Theodore Chapman, Joan Crawford, Stuart Cramer III, Karen Chinatti, James Caan, Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, Richard Chamberlain, Francis Ford Coppola, David Cassidy, Roy Clark, Russell Crowe, Glen Campbell, Billy Carter, Lon Chaney, Dana Carvey, Charlemagne, Walter Percy Chrysler, Butch Cassidy, Jackie Chan, Russell Crowe, Chuck Connors, Oleg Cassini, Maria Callas, Tom Clancy, Jack Cassidy, Claudia Cardinale, Tim Curry, Jamie Lee Curtis, Howard Cosell, James Coburn, Joe Cocker, Bill Cosby, Deepak Chopra, George Clooney, John Coltrane, Johnny Cash, Frank Capra, David Carradine, Tracy Chapman, Bing Crosby, Marcia Cross,
Bette Davis, Denmark, Doris Chase Doane, Thomas E. Dewey, Doris Day, Clarence Darrow, Timothy Dalton, Robert Downey Jr, Claire Danes, Celine Dion, Francisco Jose de Goya, Rene Descartes, Catherine De Medici, Tony Dow, Leonardo Da Vinci, Ellen Degeneres, Robert de Niro, Bo Derek, Isadora Duncan, Laura Dern, Phil Donahue, Christen Dunst,
Wally Eckert, Buddy Ebsen, Carmen Electra, Queen Elizabeth II
Gene Fortunato, Robert Frost, David Frost, Aretha Franklin, Sir John Franklin, Norman Fell, Betty Ford, W.C. Fields, Mia Farrow, Geraldine Ferraro, Errol Flynn, Sigmund Freud.
Alec Guinness, Danny Griffith, Vincent van Gogh, Germany, Susanna Goldman, Jennie Rebecca Goldman, Gus Grissom, James Garner, Sarah Michelle Geller, Jennifer Grey, Leeza Gibbons, King George 1st of England, Maxim Gorky, Marvin Gaye, Jane Goodall, Frank Gorshin, Shecky Greene, Joel Grey, Andy Garcia, Vince Gill, Al Green, John Gielgud, BobCat Goldthwait, Billy Graham, Dick Gregory, Che Guevera, Jennifer Garner, Ulysses S Grant, Bill Gates, Martha Graham
Merle Haggard, Harry Houdini, Mary Ann Henson, William Holden, Billie Holiday, William Hurt, Holly Hunter, A.E. Housman, Hammer. Arthur Hailey, Hugh Hefner, Kate Hudson, Ken Howard, Franz Joseph Haydn, William Harvey, Emmylou Harris, Marilu Henner, Walter Huston, Sonja Henie, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Hancock, Olivia Hussey, Melissa Joan Hart, Adolph Hitler, Clint Howard, Margaux Hemingway, Barbara Hershey, Lena Horne, Ron Howard, Dorothy Hamill, Whitney Huston, Tommy Hilfiger, Gordie Howe, David Hume, William Randolph Hearst,
Eric Idle, Washington Irving, Janice Ian, Henrik Ibsen,
Henry James, William Lester Jacobs, Linda Janklow, George Jessel, Thomas Jefferson, Elton John, Shirley Jones, David Janssen, Ashley Judd, Erica Jong, Grace Jones, Jesse Jackson, Michael Jordan
Cheryl Keast, James Keener, Nikita Khrushchev, William E. Kemery III, Ethel Kennedy, Gabe Kaplan, Chaka Khan, Will Keith Kellog, Gary Kasparaov, Howard Keel, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Madeline Khan, Helmut Khol, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Karen Kain, Soren Kierkegaard
Henry Luce, Clare Boothe Luce, James Lovell, David Letterman, Loretta Lynn, John Lennon, Vicki Lawrence, Lucy Lawless, Frankie Laine, Christine Lahti, Heath Ledger, Julian Lennon, Vladmir Ilich Lenin, Louise Lasser, Jessica Lange, Harold Loyd, Spike Lee, Jennifer Lopez, Heather Locklear, Bela Lugosi, Liberace, William Lilly, Joe Lewis
Edmund Muskie, Marsha Mason, Steve McQueen, Ali McGraw, Jim Minow, Myke Minow, Wayne Mackin, Gail Mannina, Terry-Anne Moore , Marcel Marceau, Elizabeth Montgomery, Henry Mansini, Dudley Moore, Ewan McGregor, Eddie Murphy, Eddie Money, Karl Malden, Leonard (Chico) Marx, Matthew Modine, Reba McIntyre, Elle MacPherson, John Major, Oscar Mayer, Peter Marshall, Henry Morgan, Nancy McKeon, Arthur Murray, Mandy Moore, Ann Miller, Hayley Mills, Jayne Mansfield, Gordon MacRea, Joe McCarthy, Bette Midler, Henry Miller, Dean Martin, Demi Moore, Mary Tyler-Moore, Karl Marx,
Alfred E. Neuman, Wayne Newton, Leonard Nimoy, Craig T Nelson, Eliot Ness, Napoleon III, Martina Navratilova, Stevie Nicks, Jack Nicholson,
Fr. Anselm Ober O.S.B., Scarlett O'Hara, Tony Orlando, Rosie O’Donnell, Conan O’Brien, Gary Oldman, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ryan O’Neal, Jackie Kennedy Onassis,
Andre Previn, Gen. George S. Patton, Anthony Perkins, Norman Porter, Gregory Peck , Princess Eugenie, Rea Perlman, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Hyde Pierce, Robin Wright Penn, Teddy Pendergrass, Colin Powell, Michelle Phillips, Mary Pickford, Pauline Porizkova, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Commodore Matthew Perry, Joseph Pulitzer, Paloma Picasso, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vincent Price, Richard Pryor, Eva Peron, Valerie Perrine, Luciano Pavrotti, General Patton, Camile Paglia,
Dennis Quaid, Karen Ann Quinlan,
Wilhelm Reich, Dane Rudhyar, Harry Reasoner, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Robeson, Carol Roberts, Diana Ross, Giovanni Ribisi, Paul Reiser, Sergei Rachmaninov, John Ratzenberger, Wayne Rogers, Pete Rose, Anne Rice, Hirundo Rivera, Robert Redford, Chris Rock, Joan Rivers
Gloria Swanson, William Shakespeare, Gari Lou Cook Schwab, Robert Slatzer, Rod Steiger, Leoplod Stokowski, Daniel Schorr Allison Saul, Omar Sharif, Bessie Smith, Simone Signoret, Gloria Steinham , Omar Sharif, Steven Seagal, William Shatner, Elvis Stojko, Simone Signoret, Martin Short, Julia Stiles, John Cameron Swayze, Ravi Shankar, Avery Schreiber, Rick Schroder, Serpico, Christian Slater, Dick Seargant, Stephen Sondheim, Ringo Starr, Barbra Striesand, Joss Stone, Kevin Spacey, Jerry Springer, David Suzuki,
Spencer Tracy, Lowell Thomas, Evelyn Tucker, Arturo Toscanini, Emma Thompson, Steven Tyler, Quentin Tarantino, Meshach Taylor, Tiny Tim, Uma Thurman, Mike Tyson, Harry Truman,
Peter Ustinov
Bobby Vinton, Wilbur Wright, F.W. Woolworth, World War I, Thelma Williams, Debbie Williams, Kim Weis, Walter Winchell, Tennessee Williams, Christian Williams, Vincent Van Gough, Vince Vaughn, Sarah Vaughan, Otto von Bismarck, Max von Sydow, Jon Voight, Rudlolph Valentino
William Wordsworth, Christopher Walken, James Woods, Reese Witherspoon, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tennesse Williams, Bob Woodward, Jack Webb, Muddy Waters, Booker T Washington, Billy Dee Williams, Walter Winchell, William Wordsworth, Lyle Waggoner, Frank W. Woolworth, Thornton Wilder, Irving Wallace, Mike Wallace, Walt Whitman, Richard Widmark, Andy Warhol, Wilbur Wright, Robbie Williams, John Wayne
Julie Yarbrough, Michael York, Cy Young
Fred Zopfi, Florence Zigfield,

I is for Internet

September 14th, 2006

Back in 1995, I became a huge fan of the Internet. That is when I arranged for my first Real Estate Website. I just knew that the web would become a major part of the industry.
Many of my local colleagues thought I was crazy- most of them did not own a computer.

In 1996, Bancroft Real Estate Board was the first Board in Ontario to go with a web-based system. We are a relatively small board and often “cutting-edge”. The success of the system soon brought other Boards to the table and within a short time; the Canadian Real Estate Association (owners of the MLS trademark) began working on a countrywide site.

Website providers have flocked to provide razzle-dazzle to Realtors for their websites. I found that a lot of the bells and whistles made the website sluggish and distracting. With the help of a fabulous web-designer (and a wonderful brother), Matthew Didier, we have developed the GetRealinOntario site, with the market in mind.

A recent edition of “REM” (a publication about Real Estate Marketing, News, Mortgages, Technology & Opinions- provided to Realtors) had an article titled “Internet is overvalued, says Re/Max founder”. I was shocked. The article goes on to quote “… the internet has taken hold. But its impacts on the industry have not been as dramatic as one might expect….” And “The Internet has not affected Re/Max growth, profitability, share or whatever.” And almost remorsefully, “Gone are the days of real estate… warm friendly faces, shaking hands and a dog running around the yard.”

Oddly enough the article also quotes Re/Max International Founder and chairman David Liniger as saying “the Internet is still an important tool to reach consumers” and that “Re/Max plans to promote its website to consumers through extensive advertising”.


I believe the Internet is undervalued by many Real Estate professionals, I believe that the Internet has affected my personal growth; I believe that Internet can convey the warmth and sincerity I possess.

I am a research-aholic. A google-holic. I check out all kinds of websites; EVERY DAY.
I know that not everything on the Internet is accurate and true, some is opinion based, but I also find the Internet is the most quick, convenient, cost-effective and comprehensive source of information available to me. The Internet is my friend. The Internet provides solutions. The Internet keeps me connected to the pulse of the Industry, to friends, family and news.

Having a website makes sense to me. I don’t believe that a Real Estate website has anything to do with increasing market share- for GetRealinOntario it is about sharing knowledge and good information with Buyers and Sellers.

my way

September 14th, 2006

I think most of us have heard the quote “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching”. It really does resonate similarities to my own personal mantra.

Once I had a little Real Estate experience under my belt, I began yearning for an, at least internally, “non-competitive” office place. This is a very difficult beast to locate, because usually the sort of “driven” personality that can handle a competitive industry isn’t easily able to shut-off the “compete” button. Big egos and big personalities can clash and cause the sort of environment that creates the “vulture” or “snake pit” feeling that Buyers and Sellers shun… some of us Realtors do, too.

With much virtue in mind, I set about writing a “Mission Statement” and once I had the opportunity to manage my own office, I set about finding people who could relate to my optimistic vision. There have been times that I have felt undermined and misunderstood and at those times, I always revisit my mission statement… it reads:

“To focus on offering our talents, energy and knowledge to serve others. To operate with authentic intention, honesty and integrity. To empower others to live extraordinary inspired lives.”

I have never changed the original draft of my Mission Statement, because it reminds me that I can find my way, through any landmines in the Real Estate world, by holding on to the very essence of providing “service” and giving it my all, while preserving my individual identity.

I have always tried to be authentic. Authentically me, of course, which means that I may not necessarily take the popular stance. It’s interesting to note that among the various descriptions for the definition of the adjective “authentic” is: “conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust, reliance and belief.”

I make my way in life, decisively- with good intentions and I can always defend my own position and yet, I am always interested in hearing the “other guy’s” viewpoint, doing more research and I have been known to change my mind… but not the “Mission Statement”. For those of us connected with “GetRealinOntario” the Mission Statement is the glue.

My first blog

September 14th, 2006

Any decent Realtor keeps informed and will read anything they can get their hands on, with regard to politics, market trends, strategies, marketing etc etc… and I have a particular interest in the “business” aspects of Real Estate.

A recent “Harris Poll” (2006) surveyed American adults and asked them to rate the level of trust that they place in the advice and guidance of certain professionals from a variety of business areas. The survey included 11 distinctly different professions. Real Estate agents placed tenth.

Information like this is not big news, really. Unfortunately, not all Real Estate reps are created alike. When I started in this business, I thought that I was well prepared for the competitive environment… and I was, when it came to being informed, educated, energetic and well-connected in complimentary industries… however, after a few short months, I began to recognize some attributes in my colleagues that bent my perspective as they nagged at my own personal morality.

I was immediately comforted that I had chosen to be a part of “organized Real Estate” and soon made it my own personal strategy; to be up-to-date on the rules & regulations, laws & legislations, policies and procedures applicable to being a Realtor. I have volunteered a lot of time to the organization of various Boards within Canadian Real Estate and I have studied much about the history of Real Estate, as well.

I suppose it is what I do, in order to maintain a sense of pride about my work. It isn’t always easy working in a small town, having your photo in the paper every week and trying to please all of the people, all of the time… and I AM my own worst critic. On the other hand, the ridiculously high expectation that I place on myself, ensure that I am (at the very least) a little more informed than the industry standard. I am always pleased when I am consulted for my opinion on matters of ethics and interpretation and I am even more excited when I have an opportunity to learn something new.

Often, I find that I am well ahead of the pack, with insight into coming pitfalls and/or changes in the business. Other Realtors, who know me, soon learn that I write pretty good offer clauses and I have a good handle on the rules and local by-laws….

I would never, however, by any means wish to imply that I am an expert, especially when there is no real criteria to objectively define an expert. I’m just pretty confident that I know how to make sure that I when I don’t know something, I’ll consult someone who knows. If that makes any sense…. Besides which, the Real Estate Council of Ontario, Code of Ethics, principle #21-5 says (among other verbiage). “A member should not use a term, title, or designation, implying that the Member is a specialist or expert in the profession, or a term, title or designation restricted by the Council, unless the Member satisfies the criteria established by the Council for its use.”

I don’t have an Expert license, I just have the duty to perform within my own areas of expertise… and with any luck at all, the areas of my own expertise will keep on growing!