Tonight I made a beer can chicken for the first time on the Big Green Egg. I’ve been on a grilling hiatus since December 31st. For some reason that I’m not aware of I have been taking a break… Glad to be back. I used several BGE toys for the first time including the sittin’ chicken, iGrill and some of my new tools that I got for Christmas. It was pretty easy; I simply rubbed the chicken with lemon pepper from the Fresh Market, filled the sittin’ chicken with a beer, put the chicken on top and stuffed the neck with some quartered onions. I cooked it on the Big Green Egg for about an hour and a half at 375 give or take.
The iGrill was awesome and totally eliminated the need to open the egg while it was cooking. My phone went off when the temperature was 170 degrees and we were done. It was simple and the taste was amazing. I was not expecting the boys to eat it, but they devoured it! When we were done at the table they both went to the counter and picked the chicken apart until it was gone. The chicken cost $7.94 at the Fresh Market… now that’s money well spent.
This was a very simple recipe as I didn’t want to get too involved the first time through, but the flavor was right on with so little effort. There are more extravagant rubs that will probably make it even better, and you have to think a different beer could enhance the flavor as well. We shall see.
Over the past year FMLS (First Multiple Listing Service) has been updating it’s systems and moving to a new platform called Fusion. For someone like me who loves technology, this has been great fun. They have made everything simpler, smarter and way more effective. The one thing that I thought was falling between the cracks was the photo management. I literally spent an hour arranging my photos for a new listing once, which is absurd when you consider all of the different places we can upload photos, and how easy it can be. Today I went in to upload some new spring photos for a listing of mine and what do you know? It’s awesome!!
The new system lets you upload multiple photos at a time and arrange them instantly by dragging them in the order you prefer. It also has cache names for the images like Master Bedroom, Front Yard, Living Room etc…
As I’m typing this it seems ancient to be saying how great these changes are, but I couldn’t be happier to see them finally arrive. If photos sell houses, it needs to be easy to put them out there.
Last week I went out and bought an HD video camera hoping to find a great tool for shooting videos of my listings. I bought one, didn’t like it…bought another and still was really unimpressed with the quality and lens range. I did capture some of Ben’s basketball skills. Check him out.
Today I saw a listing and was stopped in my tracks by two silver built-in boxes in the walls. After seeing the first one in a room off the master bedroom I assumed it was a safe, then saw another at the top of the basement stairs. I didn’t immediately realize what they were for, and am still not totally sure, but at least I know what they are. They are Secure Logic wall vaults. They come with either a keypad or biometric feature which reads your fingerprint, and cost $399 & $479 respectively. The doors are recessed and gravity operated so there is no swinging out. The doors open in less than two seconds giving you instant access to your valueables or guns…which I’m thinking is what the ones I saw today were used for. The vaults were tested by the US Dept of Justice and deemed safe to store a loaded firearm.
What I liked about them and what got my attention was how sleek they were and how flush they were with the wall. Not that you want to show off a safe, but if you need your stuff quickly, this is a great option.
This evening I was taking shots for the Weekly Photo Challenge and decided to wait a little while for the light to change. This week the subject is “technology” which is one of my favorite subjects in life. The picture I was working on was a shot from behind my desk of me typing on my computer, picking up my iPhone, and moving the mouse around. In the background are my laptop, iPad, iPhone and other random computer gear.
Here is the shot I was working on:
Shortly after leaving this shot for dinner I heard the news that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away at the age of 56, one day after the release of the iPhone 4S. Since I got a new iPad2 yesterday I figured a tribute was in order. Here is the shot I am submitting of my Apple products. RIP Steve Jobs.
The other day I got a voicemail from someone that included “I don’t text so you can call me on my telephone”. To give you perspective, my voicemail greeting says “you can leave me a message or send me a text”.
In my quest to view information quicker and more efficiently than I did yesterday this is a great model. Most of the real estate related voicemails I receive look like this: “is your listing still available?” or “can I show your listing?” or “it’s John, call me”. Not like it takes that much time to listen to voicemails, but you do have to stop what you are doing to dial/listen/call back/delete and call back/or write down the number they actually want you to call them back on.
A text message is instant and my response will be instant too. Very little goes into a text message and for simple yes/no questions, this is by far the superior route to take.
Do you text? If not I’d love to know why not. Leave it in the comments.
Never once did I question or doubt the awesomeness of the iPhone. I am a Verizon customer and for years have watched my friends, family and colleagues strut around doing awesome things with their iPhones. I held firm and bought the best blackberry I could get which at my last purchase was the Storm2. Very shortly after that purchase, Verizon announced that it would begin selling the iPhone. To make up for all of its shortcomings I bought the Samsung Gallaxy Tab last December, of which I’m using to write this blog post. Not to go off in another direction, but I have to say I am very happy with my Tab.
Last week I took the plunge (responding to an email from Verizon saying I qualified for an early phone upgrade) and bought the Verizon iPhone4 and must say, it is simply amazing. From the moment I first held it I knew this was the best piece of technology I’d ever had. Email setup to deleting emails to grouping emails by conversation, to sending contacts via text or email and one of my favorites, the organization of phone calls and voicemails, it just makes getting things done easier.
My favorite new app is CardMunch. I learned about it on www.MyTechOpinion.com and it rocks. As a Realtor I am always trading business cards and keeping up with them is a nightmare. With CardMunch all you do is snap a picture of the business card, it categorizes all of the information, feeds it back into your iPhone and with the click of a button they are a new contact. Again, I’ve been waiting years for something like that.
My other favorites are Scrabble (still not sure why you can’t play on other devices), the Facebook interface is close to perfect (lacking picture upload direct from the gallery), Google Maps is perfect, texting is light-years ahead of my old phone with the way it bubbles your messages, and the camera is very impressive.
I was pretty hesitant buying the iPhone 4 having heard all of the rumors about an iPhone 5 coming out possibly this fall. After speaking with a few people, I realized spending one more day without this awesomeness was one day too long and I should just go for it. I have had it now for about a week and I feel really good about my purchase.
Today I went into a local ‘tech’ store to get a new TV to replace ours that got zapped by a recent lighting storm. I went in with my Galaxy Tablet so I could do some research on whatever model I found before making the purchase. Before I could get it pulled up on CNET, a gentleman in slacks and a button down shirt approached me and proceeded to give me the full rundown on the TV I was looking at in addition to information on my other options. Funny enough, he owned the same TV and had a fabulous personal review for me.
I inquired about the availability, told him I had other shopping to do, and he said he would track me down once he had the answers. Minutes later a clerk in “standard” attire approached me and helped me through the rest of the process. He was very nice and helpful, but noticeably at a different pay level and 20 years younger.
I couldn’t help but think throughout the process that they didn’t want me in there doing research on their products before making my purchase. It makes total sense and from a retail standpoint, what could be worse? Consumer comes in, picks out a product, scans it with their mobile device, realizes it’s cheaper down the street and proceeds to walk out of your store and buy it elsewhere.
I imagine this is on the minds of the powers that be within retail stores everywhere. The approach taken today was spot on with me. I’m a sucker for customer service and when treated right, you’ve got my business.