Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Atheist In the Woods

Got this via email a few years ago and had a good laugh.

An atheist was walking through the woods.
"What majestic trees"!
"What powerful rivers"!
"What beautiful animals"!
He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him.

He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him.

He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.

At that instant the Atheist cried out, "Oh my God!"

Time Stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. "You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident." "Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer"?
The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian"?

"Very Well," said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:

"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Does God Exist?

This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen...

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed.
As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation.
They talked about so many things and various subjects.
When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said:
"I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist.
Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people?
Would there be abandoned children?

If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain.
I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."
The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument.
The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop.

Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard.
He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber:
"You know what? Barbers do not exist."
"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber.
"I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"
"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because
if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."

"Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me."
"Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist!
That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help.
That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just In Time For Thanksgiving - A New Exercise Program

Now that we are all over 40...I found a great exercise plan for us...

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-lb. potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides, and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute and then relax.

Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple weeks, move up to 10-lb. potato sacks.

Then try 50-lb. potato sacks. Then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb. potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level.)

Once you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each sack.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rules for a Great BBQ

Came across this today on the internet. This should help clarify roles.

BBQ Rules

It is important for you to know the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity. When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:


(1) The woman buys the food.
(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.
(4) The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.

Here comes the important part:

More routine...

(6) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
(7) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great.. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he flips the meat

Important again:


More routine...

(9) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.

(10) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:

(11) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

(12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed 'her night off ' and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making It Happen

In today's business environment where teams, groups and committees are all the rage sometimes you have to step back and remember past advice and apply it today.

When I was a young corporate latter climber and the team concept of management was just starting I had a manager who gave me two pieces of advice about these practices.

A committee of 3 gets more done when 2 people are absent.

You don't call a committee to kill a rattlesnake, just kill it.

In our daily business lives there are times we just need to make a decision. Not stand around and wait for others or see what the "mood" is today but take action.

In the end we are the only ones responsible for our success or failure.

Make it Happen Today!

Larry Gray, Realtor

Homes of Distinction
4222 S. Florida Ave
Lakeland, Fl 33813

(863) 205-8420 Cell
(863) 701-2386 Fax



Monday, November 16, 2009

Blogging - What am I Thinking

My 24 year old, college educated, daughter in her sweet and encouraging way was reading my blog (www.growingupinauroranc.blogspot.com) series "Growing Up In Aurora NC. After she finished I ask her what she thought of it. Her response was so helpful, "Where did you learn to write and spell. Haven't you heard of spell check?"

Yes that has always been a problem and you would think spell check would help. The problem is spell check does not know the difference between "to, too, or two" and similar words. If you put a misspelled word in a sentence but the misspelling is actually another work it does not help.

And add to that I am Dyslexic.

Well let's just blame it on the keyboard.

Larry Gray, Realtor

Homes of Distinction
4222 S. Florida Ave
Lakeland, Fl 33813

(863) 205-8420 Cell
(863) 701-2386 Fax



Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thoughts 11-8-2009 Buyers & Sellers - Let's Dance

Another great week draws to a close. This weekend Sara and I had 4 of our listing show and two have positive responses. Now the task of converting a positive comment into a bona-fide offer begins. On one hand you have sellers living in the past and can not understand that prices have falling in the past and most likely will fall more, in our area, no matter what they hear on TV. And, on the other hand you have buyers who believe if you offer more than 50 cent on the dollar they are giving money away. OH WELL, let the dance begin.

What I really need is a good Sunday afternoon nap to ponder on all of this. LOL

Friday, November 6, 2009

When 99.9% Is Not Good Enough

I ran across this several years ago and still find it thought provoking and true. In our line of work do we give our clients 100% or do we settle for 99.9%.

If 99.9% Is Good Enough, Then . . .

12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.

114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped/year.

18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled/hour.

2,000,000 documents will be lost by the IRS this year.

2.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers.

Two planes landing at Chicago's O'Hare airport will be unsafe every day.

315 entries in Webster's dictionary will be misspelled.

20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written this year.

880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect
cardholder information on their magnetic strips.

103,260 income tax returns will be processed incorrectly during the year.

5.5 million cases of soft drinks produced will be flat.

291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly.

3,056 copies of tomorrow's Wall Street Journal will be missing one of the
three sections.

Larry Gray, Realtor

Homes of Distinction
4222 S. Florida Ave
Lakeland, Fl 33813

(863) 205-8420 Cell
(863) 701-2386 Fax



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Central Florida - Beautiful Frostproof, Florida

Another beautiful day in Central Florida. 73 Degrees, low humidity and a nice breeze blowing. I am spending the day in Frostproof, a quaint little town in the center of the state which offers some of the best fishing lakes and hunting areas in all of Florida. If you like the small town life but with the conveniences of major cities, Tampa and Orlando, within 60 miles Frostproof is the town for you.

Call Sara Gray (863-232-2987) or myself (863-205-8420) and let us help make your dream of Florida Living come true.

Larry Gray, Realtor

Homes of Distinction
4222 S. Florida Ave
Lakeland, Fl 33813

(863) 205-8420 Cell
(863) 701-2386 Fax



Friday, October 30, 2009

Sunny Skies vs. Freezing Snow - Ummm What to Do?

Today promises to be another beautiful day in sunny Lakeland Florida. We are expecting 90+ degrees and clear blue skies. As you set up north and ponder the coming of freezing temps, snow banks, icy roads keep in mind blue skies and warm temps are just a few hundred miles away.

We love our Snowbirds who fly south and winter with us every year. Think about how nice it would be not to worry about all that weather.

Call me today and let me help you find your spot in beautiful Lakeland and all that Florida sunshine. Prices have never been better and rates are still low, so now is the time to purchase your winter's nest in Florida.


Larry Gray, Realtor

Homes of Distinction
4222 S. Florida Ave
Lakeland, Fl 33813

(863) 205-8420 Cell
(863) 701-2386 Fax



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thoughts 10/26/2009 - Friday's Plans Monday's Reality

Last Friday I posted that this was the first time in a long time that Sara and I had nothing planned or scheduled. We were going to go to Orlando and spend the day at Downtown Disney, the malls and Bass Pro Store. I said that like good little Reators we would take our phones with us.

No sooner than I had posted this I got a call from and investor in Texas, I had been talking too, and he decided he would fly into town and wanted me to show him property/vacant land Saturday morning. By the time we finished Saturday with Sara was shot. It will be worth it if something materializes from the showings and it was a very positive time.

On a more positive note Saturday night we went to an all you can eat lobster resturant in Kissimmee. We put a dent in their profit margin for Saturday. Yummy Yummy there was a party in my tummy Saturday

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Listing vs. Selling Your Property

"Do you want to List your property or do you want to Sell your property?" This has become one of the first questions I ask on a Listing Interview. It is surprising how many people, in this market, just want to list their property and if they sell, great.

This type of seller is hard to work with and can be very frustrating to your buyers and you. One of the dead give aways to this type of seller is when they say "I know the price is too high, but bring me offers." If the price is too high you may not get offers. Buyers have too many choices and will not waste time making offers on property that is ridiculously over price.

The seller may not be motivated to lower his price during the listing and continually argue with you about it. A lot of times they will blame you for not bringing offers because "it is always the Realtors fault."

Remember it is not a "Listing Appointment" but a "Listing Interview". You are interviewing the seller just as much as the seller is interviewing you. ASK QUESTIONS! If you do not like the answers it is better to walk away now than after you have invested time and money in a "Property that is Listed" verses a "Property that is For Sell."

Larry Gray, Realtor

Homes of Distinction
4222 S. Florida Ave
Lakeland, Fl 33813

(863) 205-8420 Cell
(863) 701-2386 Fax