When it comes to video- Try, try again.

It’s real easy to give in to the fear of talking on camera and never get around to doing your proper video marketing. One only needs to view a few of your own efforts when you tried but found yourself stumbling over words, or your hair was out-of-place or your make-up wasn’t just right and you gave up saying, “I hate seeing myself on video” or “I’m terrible on camera” or something similar. In this video Real Estate marketing expert Lisa Tremolada makes an easy and succinct point that I think a lot of people forget about.

I’ve recorded myself on video for various tips and advice segments 40-or-50 times in the past couple of years, as you can see here. I never get it right on the first shoot. I usually need 5-6 shoots before I settle on one I like.

Taking the point even further, while video is relatively new to me, I’ve been doing voice recordings professionally since 1985 even when there is no camera and I’m only working with a microphone I seldom bang-out a clean recording on the first shot.

You can do it. Just be more forgiving of yourself and try, try again.

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The more I look, the More I like Mitt.

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA

Our next President?

I thought (and wrote) that the Washington Republican caucuses for President of the United States would come and go this March 3rd with a GOP nomination fully secured for Mitt Romney and that my choice would be largely irrelevant. My home state rendered largely irrelevant again. And while I still think Romney will win the Republican nomination to take on Barrack Obama, I’m less sure. Newt Gingrich‘s win in South Carolina and his surge in national polls, irregardless of Florida, have me thinking I must take a stand, make a choice, and help my choice win.

While I’m not ALL there yet, I do like Mitt Romney more and more. I like Newt Gingrich too. And for the record I increasingly like Rick Santorum. But I’m probably going to vote for the former Massachusetts Governor.

Newt’s bombast is not a turn off for me the way it is for so many others. I was raised with a strong and often angry father, who yelled and was not afraid to show that he was upset. So I’m quite used to this character trait of Gingrich that turns off too many people and will probably be his undoing in the remaining nominating contests. I like Newt’s big ideas, and I like that he pisses off mainstream politicians of both parties. Wouldn’t you agree that going away from the politicians of Washington D.C. is not a negative?

But I said a couple of years ago that I’m not a one issue voter, but if I were, the one issue that is most important to me is ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. So much of what challenges us as Americans today is completely wrapped up in this one issue: race relations, jobs, drugs, terrorism. We absolutely must secure our borders. As best I can tell Mitt Romney comes the closest to my views on this subject than any of the remaining candidates. For instance, I do agree with him that if you make it nearly impossible for illegals to get jobs, and you remove so many of the other magnets that draw these people to illegally cross our borders many will return to their own homes. Why wouldn’t they? Why would they stay if they can’t feed themselves or their families.

And as a side note, don’t believe Barrack Obama for a second when he positions himself as tough on this subject. In the State of the Union he claimed there were fewer illegal border crossings now than there had been in years. True or not that has nearly nothing to do with anything he or his administration have done. It has more to do with the economy. Why illegally come to the U.S. now? There are no jobs to be had (which further advances Romney’s assertion that no jobs means they will go home).

Secondly, I like Romney’s plans to waive the Capital Gains tax for those making under $200,000. This idea was panned when it was first introduced. Romney’s opponents claiming that such a tax is not paid by people making under $2ook, but instead by people like him. Wrong! I know. I’ve had to pay this tax and I didn’t like it one bit. I wrote a check to the Federal Government for $12,000 after selling my families first home, which we had moved from and kept as a rental for 7 years. The threat of having to pay it again was the primary reason we sold our second house after keeping it as a rental for nearly 3 years. It is a disincentive tax for me and for many other potential investors. I think less-so for those with higher incomes.

Eventually I’d like to see the high-end Capital Gains tax equal the high-end income tax rate. Because it is wrong for wealthy people to pay a much smaller rate than what the rest of us pay. And since they make a large majority of their income through capital gains rather than through salary, naturally they will pay the lower tax rate. When Ronald Reagan reformed taxes in 1986 he agreed with Democrats to make the Capital Gains tax rate 28%, equal to the highest income tax rate. Like Gingrich has said, I’d rather see the income tax lower and expanded to more people than raise the level of the Capital Gains tax rate.

Lastly, if you consider the only negatives on Romney are that he is wealthy and that he is a “flip-flopper”, you really seriously need to re-examine your priorities. After all when making an argument isn’t the idea to bring people to your way of thinking? And for Conservative Pro-Lifers hasn’t Mitt Romney come toward your way of thinking? Isn’t that a good thing?

So those are my reasons. My mind could change. But for now I’m with Mitt. What are your reasons?  Who do you support and why?

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

If you find this blog interesting I would be honored if you would share it. TY.

Really looking forward to Mariner season.

The Mariner Moose, mascot of the Seattle Mariners.

Mariner Moose

Don’t be misled by the headline to this blog. I’m not delusional about my home town team’s chances in the coming 2012 Major League Baseball season. I realize the Seattle Mariner‘s are a young and flawed team and they aren’t likely to go anywhere but home when the 162 game schedule wraps up October 3rd. But I predict the Northwest’s baseball fans will embrace these kids and make Safeco Field a fun place to go again.

I’ll admit that I was disappointed when it was revealed this week that

English: Prince Fielder doing pre-game stretch...

Cecil Fielder

Cecil Fielderwas not going to hit for the M’s. The 275 pound slugging first baseman inked a 9-year $214-million deal with the Detroit Tigers. The Mariner’s weak hitters and inept offense over the previous two years made an acquisition of a power hitter like Fielder mandatory for the team to avoid another boring season of 2-1 losses stacked on top of each other. But can you really blame General Manager Jack Zduriencik for exercising some fiscal responsibility, and not acting desperate by giving in to super-agent

Scott Boras

Scott Boras

Scott Boras’ demands for a long and extraordinary contract with a player whose physical build may have him breaking down than most other chiseled athletes who make up professional baseball today. Don’t forget, unlike the NFL, baseball contracts are guaranteed. Fielder will be collecting his $20+ million each year until 2021 even if by 2016 he can’t waddle down the first base line fast enough to beat out a throw from the parking lot. To have gotten the former Milwaukee power hitter Jack Z would have had to commit to at least as many years and probably more dollars. Maybe as much as $230-million.

It became fairly evident the M’s were out of the Fielder sweepstakes last week when we heard about the team’s trade of its number two pitcher Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda

to the New York Yankees for catching and designated-hitter prospect Jesus Montero. In many evaluations Montero is the best prospect in all the Major Leagues. And by giving up a proven front line pitcher like Pineda, he better be. A team doesn’t usually part with a number 1 or 2 pitcher without getting a player at or near All Star caliber. With Montero we only have his experience with the Bronx Bombers last September to evaluate what his power bat will do in the Major Leagues. His only month of Major League experience proved mighty tasty though. Jesus (pronounced Hay-Zeus) hit .328 with four home runs and 12 RBI in just 61 at-bats. He’ll hit. I’m confident. Whether he’ll be a liability behind the plate remains to be seen. But my view is he couldn’t be much worse than we’ve had in recent years. Miguel Olivo was set to be the backstop going into this year. And while his ability to throw out runners is top-notch, and his calling of the game appears to serve Seattle well; Olivo also led the Majors in passed-balls and only hit only .224 and dropped off steadily as the year wore on. Great guy? Sure. But Montero can do better.

Now look at what else came Seattle’s way late last year and turned a record-paced piss poor offense into something a little better than awful. Former number 1 draft pick Dustin Ackley

Looking toward Qwest (football) Field and Down...

It'll be fun at Safeco again.

played a solid 2nd base and hit .273 with 6 homers. Mike Carp was hitting as well as anyone in the big leagues for most of July and August before slowing somewhat finishing with a .276 average and 12 homers, many of them very well-timed. Casper Wells came from Detroit and showed flashes with the bat and a very dependable glove. If Franklin Gutierrez doesn’t have a bounce back year, which he should, Wells could be an adequate Center Fielder.

Then there’s Justin Smoak, the switch hitting powerful first baseman we got from Texas in the Cliff Lee trade. In his first full season in the Major’s Smoak (I just love his name) hit only .234 with 15 HRs. But folks…his Dad died in April and in August he was hit in the eye socket by a pitch. For those who have never lost a parent let me tell you it doesn’t leave you at your best in terms of work performance. Work just seems all-together unimportant for an extend period while you grieve the loss of someone you were very close to, as Smoak was with his father. Smoak has shown enough of what it takes to continue to believe the forecasts for his Major League stardom are still possible.

And even with the loss of Pineda the Mariner’s have a solid core of pitchers led by All Star and 2010 Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.

The M’s play in the same division as two-time American League Champion Texas, who just signed Japanese pitching ace Yu Darvish; and the Los Angeles Angels who not only have MLB’s best Manager in Mike Scoscia but also picked up Albert Pujols in free-agency…only the best player in baseball for the past ten years. Seattle can’t compete with these teams. Not in 2012. But won’t it be fun watching a team of young 20-somethings fight and claw and scratch and improve and give us some legitimate promise in years to come. Just remember the old franchise slogan “Ya gotta love these guys” was created for a team built around

Ken Griffey, Jr.

Ken Griffey Jr. was the star of the 1995 Mariners

Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Dan Wilson, Tino Martinez, Randy Johnson, Joey Cora, Alex Rodriguez and others. Back in the early to mid-90s they were all together and they were all young at that time. And as they grew so did the team’s success and the fun. I think we’ll love these NEW guys.

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If you find the blog interesting please Share it. Other’s might as well. TY.

Economics for the Long Run- Wall Street Journal

Česky: Oficiální portrét amerického prezidenta...

President Ronald Reagan

In this short article by Stanford Economics professor and senior fellow John Taylor it’s correctly pointed out that continuous short-term government intervention in the economy produces more bad than good, no matter the intentions, and no matter what party is in the White House. These policies have been most effectively and dramatically illustrated by Ronald Reagan, and continued with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204468004577166842399752720.html

Not mentioned in the article is that these hands-off principles originally were put forth a long time ago by 18th Century Economist Adam Smith in his seminal book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, better known as “The Wealth of Nations”.

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HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS!

Today’s video blog is short and sweet and suggests an excellent method for getting more video views on YouTube. This tip is for those making their own videos. If a professional service is producing your videos, like Total Broadcasting Service, ask if they can incorporate this simple step for you into your videos. In the case of our company, Total Broadcasting Service, the answer is definitely “YES”, we can do this for our customers videos.

War on the Middle Class is all Friendly Fire.

“Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”- George Santayana, 19th Century writer, philosopher

Have you ever driven through an old neighborhood where the houses were mostly constructed in the 1920’s?

Old Neighborhood

Seattle's Queen Anne Hill

What did you see? What you saw from that era of American consumption is very large homes; Bungalow styles, Colonial revival, Ranch style and others. In Seattle the Leschi neighborhood and the area east of Franklin High School give adequate representation of the kind of opulence home owners enjoyed in the time of Prohibition,

Calvin Coolidge, President of the United State...

President Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge, and a rising stock market.

History being our teacher we look back on that time and know what followed; a record stock market crash, increased taxes from the Federal Government and a depression that shook the foundation of our country. So what do you see in the neighborhoods where the houses were constructed in the 1930s? The answer is nothing. There are no neighborhoods built in the 1930s. Like today construction ground to a complete halt because of the depression leaving nothing to look back on.

World War II took us out of the depression, but because of the diverting of resources home construction didn’t recover in this country for five more years. When it resumed in the late 40s and continued through the 50s and 60s what was being built? The Lake Hills community in Bellevue, WA is a fair representation of late 50s early 60s construction. I grew up there.

Small homes from 1950s

With very few exceptions it’s a community made up almost entirely of ramblers with a size seldom exceeding 1200-1500 square feet. They were easy to construct and inexpensive. And the Eisenhower and Kennedy 50s and 60s gave America a universal image of happiness and wealth. In my case I thought my house was a palace growing up. After my parents divorced our single parent home, led by my Dad, became a 1100 square foot rented duplex. The whole neighborhood was duplexes, so once again I didn’t feel deprived.

Slowly through the 70s the houses got bigger, introducing the God-awful split-level

I always hated Split-levels

. But even these were generally no more than 2000 square feet.

By the time the 90s come around everything has exploded.

A 1990s McMansion

Newly constructed homes have to have a minimum of three bedrooms, laundry room, office, play room and foyer. The home I grew up in would be swallowed by my current homes downstairs alone. And with the added size came an awful lot of opulence too. Granite countertops now are staples in even the most humble abode. In the past 20 years we’ve furnished these McMansions with leather furniture and tile floors. And if our home didn’t have the amenities we desired we would refinance our mortgage or get a second mortgage, taking equity out of our personally largest investment. Taking equity out of your home was something our parents and grandparents wouldn’t dream of doing except in the most dire financial emergency. Now we do it to finance a trip to Cancun.

The 2008 financial collapse was largely caused by an increasing number of Americans failing to pay their mortgage; mortgages for big, opulent homes too many flat-out couldn’t afford. But creative financial instruments were put before us and Presto! We could suddenly afford these ridiculous houses. The dreaded ARM loan became a buzz word and the source of all our consternation. Nobody put a gun to anyone’s head asking them to sign these unwise financial documents. But like lemmings lining up for our own fatal plunge Americans from every corner of our nation made the dive.

The expenses our parents faced on a monthly basis included a rent or mortgage payment on a fixed-rate 30 year mortgage. They included heating bills, water, sewer, life insurance, car insurance, phone, food and gas. It included little else. Today all those expenses have exploded. Gas prices have doubled just since Barrack Obama became President. Also now our monthly expenses include all of what’s just been mentioned PLUS cable tv, internet, DVRs, cell phones

English: Mobile phone evolution Русский: Эволю...

, workout-clubs or gyms, video game networking, 50 inch TVs and more. And these are just regular monthly expenses. These are expenses earlier generations couldn’t fathom; nearly all of them unnecessary extravagances. Can you say with a straight face that you honestly NEED 200 different television channels? Is it really necessary that each individual in the household be available for a telephone (cell phone) call 24-7? We have five different telephones in my four person home. We could have six but I fought my wife against getting our 13-year-old daughter her own phone.

When dollars are tight and the bills aren’t being met too many enviously scream at those who have more and shout “No fair!”. But when you look around at what even the poorest in our society enjoy compared to our forefathers, and compared to the rest of the world, for that matter, shouldn’t the finger of blame be pointed at the man or woman in the mirror when cash flow is not there for you? Doesn’t history show us that when you build up and up and up and live beyond your means a correction is inevitable? And doesn’t history tell us that living humbly coincided with happy times and progress for our society?

I don’t wish anyone to live uncomfortably. I want us all to have a rich and fabulous existence. I want us all to thrive. I’m just saying thriving could be a lot easier if we look back from whence we came.

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Driving Pet Peeves that drive me crazy.

Example variable speed limit sign in the Unite...

Do you ever have a need to VENT, then do so and feel better for having done it? Well, I’ve been made a literal cauldron by the antics of drivers during this past weeks snow storm, so I thought I’d let off a little steam. I invite you to join me on this one. Let’s give a literary bitch-slap to those rude, discourteous, dangerous and silly drivers we all encounter on our public thoroughfares.

What got me so frazzled the most this week was watching the incredible number of drivers who rolled right through traffic lights

English: LED traffic light in Forest Hill, New...

These are to be recognized, not ignored

that had been disabled by a power outage. Such actions are extremely dangerous and unlawful. I thought I’d mention the unlawful part because based on the rate of violations I saw this week I’m quite certain many people are unaware that when you come upon a disabled traffic light you are to treat it as a four-way stop sign.

Tailgaters always frustrate me. But to tailgate someone while driving on ice is the height of idiocy. If anything you should be extending your distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you when driving on such slippery roads. Under normal driving conditions I will only tailgate for brief moments. When coming up on a slow driver, usually a Subaru driver,

Subaru of America

who can’t seem to manage to drive the speed limit I am likely to come up too close to their backside to let them know  that I’m there and that I wish to see them drive the speed limit. I’ll then quickly back off to allow for a safe space between vehicles. I might tailgate the discourteous, clueless types who occupy the passing lane of the freeway while not passing anyone; again, Subaru and Volvo drivers seem to favor this practice. Again, I’ll get up close to sort-of say “HELLO?!” before backing off to a safe distance. This just in…in most states it’s against the law to inhabit the passing-lane and not pass anyone. Hello?!

Something that is nearly the entire providence of Subaru drivers and small pickup truck drivers is to merge onto a 55 or 60 mph freeway at 40 miles-per-hour. This usually only affects me if I’m behind this klutz. If on the freeway I’m usually in the passing lane tailgating some other Subaru driver. Were I in the right lane such 40 mph merging practices would put my safety in jeopardy as well as that of the first several cars behind me.

Is there anything easier in life than turning on the

Vehicle with its left directional signal activ...

turn signal for a standard vehicle? I think not. And yet people fail to do this all the time. I’ll give Subaru drivers a brake on this one. They’re usually so ultra-safe to the point of annoyance they might be guilty of using their turn signal too much, like signaling to take a freeway exit 1/4 mile before you get there.  With turn-signaling you can do it with your pinky finger while maintaining a grip on the steering wheel with your remaining four fingers and thumb. How many things in life can you do with your pinky finger? However long the list, it’s a pretty short list. And whatever is on that list I can’t imagine anything being more significant than turning on the turn signal for your vehicle to signal your intentions to ALL the drivers in front and behind you. It’s easy do it! And do it every single time, please. In instructing my two oldest kids to drive I consider the most sage advice I can give them is to “be predictable for all the other drivers and pedestrians you encounter while operating a motor vehicle“. Be predictable.

Lots of other driver’s habits irritate me. But I thought I’d leave room for you to vent too. Go ahead. You’ll feel better.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.