Thursday, February 27, 2014

Academy Awards & Utah

Photo: utahhome.me



Roll out the red carpet for your friends on the most glamorous night of the year: The annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2.

How about an Oscar trivia game. Did you know more than 900 films have been shot in Utah dating back to the 1930s? From classic Westerns to sci-fi blockbusters, Utah’s landscape has played a role in some of cinema’s most beloved and influential movies of all time.  The Utah Film Commission has a full list of films, as well as the Utah shooting locations http://filmed-utah.com/

Armed with this knowledge, and a little help from IMDbhttp://www.imdb.com/ you can create the ultimate Utah film trivia game. One easy way to do it, just break out some jumbo index cards and instruct your guests to try to name Oscar nominated films that feature Utah’s landscape and give a point for each correct answer. You can also give bonus points for knowing the year the movie was released, the stars, or the awards it garnered. 

To get you started, here’s a list of 10 Oscar nominated and awarded films, along with the Utah filming locations:

  1. Stagecoach (1939):  Monument Valley
  2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): Monument Valley
  3. Planet of the Apes (1968): Glen Canyon, Lake Powell
  4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969): Grafton, Snow Canyon, St. George, Zion National Park
  5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989): Arches National Park, Moab
  6. Thelma & Louise (1991): Canyonlands National Park, Cisco, Dead Horse Point State Park, La Sal Mountains, Thompson Springs, Mexican Hat, West Valley City, Moab
  7. Forrest Gump (1994): Monument Valley, Mexican Hat
  8. 127 Hours (2010): Moab, Salt Lake City
  9. The Tree of Life (2011): Salt Flats, Goblin Valley State Park
  10. Gravity (2013): Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell
Now you’re all set to host the ultimate Utah-themed Oscar bash.

  1. Stagecoach (1939): Monument Valley
  2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): Monument Valley
  3. Planet of the Apes (1968): Glen Canyon, Lake Powell
  4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969): Grafton, Snow Canyon, St. George, Zion National Park
  5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989): Arches National Park, Moab
  6. Thelma & Louise (1991): Canyonlands National Park, Cisco, Dead Horse Point State Park, La Sal Mountains, Thompson Springs, Mexican Hat, West Valley City, Moab
  7. Forrest Gump (1994): Monument Valley, Mexican Hat
  8. 127 Hours (2010): Moab, Salt Lake City
  9. The Tree of Life (2011): Salt Flats, Goblin Valley State Park
  10. Gravity (2013): Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell
Now you’re all set to host the ultimate Utah-themed Oscar bash.
- See more at: http://www.utahhome.me/2014/02/hosting-awards-party-utah-twist/#sthash.bhA8vDPB.SKtDqnDv.dpuf

Roll out the red carpet for your friends on the most glamorous night of the year: The annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2.
Planning a spectacular Oscar viewing party is easy; you just need to dial up the glam with sophisticated appetizers, elegant decorative touches and, to truly get in the spirit, ask your guests to come dressed in their best formal wear.
In addition to creating the perfect ambiance, if you really want to dazzle your guests, try out an Oscar trivia game. Did you know more than 900 films have been shot in Utah dating back to the 1930s? From classic Westerns to sci-fi blockbusters, Utah’s landscape has played a role in some of cinema’s most beloved and influential movies of all time.  The Utah Film Commission has a full list of films, as well as the Utah shooting locations.
- See more at: http://www.utahhome.me/2014/02/hosting-awards-party-utah-twist/#sthash.bhA8vDPB.SKtDqnDv.dpuf
Roll out the red carpet for your friends on the most glamorous night of the year: The annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2.
Planning a spectacular Oscar viewing party is easy; you just need to dial up the glam with sophisticated appetizers, elegant decorative touches and, to truly get in the spirit, ask your guests to come dressed in their best formal wear.
In addition to creating the perfect ambiance, if you really want to dazzle your guests, try out an Oscar trivia game. Did you know more than 900 films have been shot in Utah dating back to the 1930s? From classic Westerns to sci-fi blockbusters, Utah’s landscape has played a role in some of cinema’s most beloved and influential movies of all time.  The Utah Film Commission has a full list of films, as well as the Utah shooting locations.
Armed with this knowledge, and a little help from IMDb, you can create the ultimate Utah film trivia game. One easy way to do it, just break out some jumbo index cards and instruct your guests to try to name Oscar nominated films that feature Utah’s landscape and give a point for each correct answer. You can also give bonus points for knowing the year the movie was released, the stars, or the awards it garnered. If you’re feeling especially crafty you can embellish one side of the cards with fancy, glam-worthy touches.
To get you started, here’s a list of 10 Oscar nominated and awarded films, along with the Utah filming locations:
- See more at: http://www.utahhome.me/2014/02/hosting-awards-party-utah-twist/#sthash.bhA8vDPB.SKtDqnDv.dpuf

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Numismatist & Real Estate Hobbies

I have always been fascinated with coin collecting.  So a few years ago I volunteered to be a merit badge counselor in the Boy Scouts of America over the Coin Collecting Merit Badge.  I attempt to transmit to the young boys with whom I work an excitement over finding a 1964 quarter that is 90% silver or 1969 S double die obverse penny! Not that I have one of those yet, but it is fun looking for them.

Now I've read a story where I can combine my passion for coin collecting and my work of helping people buy and sell real estate.  I just need to find a property with four buried cans holding 1,427 coins dated from 1847 - 1894.  How hard could that be.

Numismatist


Here is the story:  a California couple found that exact thing while out walking on their property - four cans holding 1,427.  It is estimated that the coins are worth $10 million.  http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/california-couple-finds-10m-buried-treasure-back-yard-212612549--abc-news-topstories.html

What a story!  Happy coin hunting.
Brian Olsen, WWR


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Patio

What home DIY projects are worth the time and effort?  If you are looking for a return on your investment because you are selling your property here is a website to determine what is the best project to do with your time and resources:
www.diynetwork.com/home-improvement/10-investments-to-boost-your-homes-value/index.html


My daughter and her husband have been living with me because they sold their town home and are saving money for their move to the east coast.  
My son-in-law scored serious points with my wife and I when he put in a front patio for us using concrete pavers.  A huge improvement from the old sidewalk.

He tore out an existing sidewalk. Then he dug out the dirt necessary and then compacted it before adding back in sand.
Then he with my daughter and other children installed the pavers.

After installing the pavers they used polymeric sand to fill in the cracks which works like grout, setting up so that weeds won't grow in the cracks.

Best of luck on your next DIY project.
Brian Olsen, WWR

DIY Patio

Friday, February 21, 2014

National Flood Insurance Program - Boring, but important


Unless you live on the side of a mountain you probably have to pay for flood insurance.  After seeing the floods created by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the combined flooding of the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers in 1993, (see the costliest floods in American History, six of the 10 happened before my time, 10 Costliest Flood in American History) here in Utah we really are in a dessert.  Sorry I can't answer why you may live in a flood zone (unless you are near Utah Lake or the Great Salt Lake).  I believe flood insurance is a good thing to have, however as with most things in which the government gets involved the pricing has become distorted. 

Flood Insurance

The bleeding hearts in government started the National Flood Insurance Program to provide protection to property owners against losses.  In a nutshell the government would provide flood insurance if communities would work to manage flood risks.

The results have shown that the government kept flood insurance rates too low (the government controls the flood insurance rates, so it doesn't help to shop around) and people built homes and businesses in areas they probably should not have built.

This National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which was supposed to be self-supporting is currently some $24 billion in debt, meaning that we the tax payers have paid out the extra $24 billion.
National Flood Insurance Program Now that money is a little more scarce (except in the federal reserve printing machine) the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 mandated that the NFIP change the rates which will result in huge increases for thousands if not millions of people.

The Senate in January passed S. 1926 which will delay the increases in flood insurance premiums and the House has HR 3370 which has not yet passed will provide the same delays.
Something does have to be done, but now that millions of people have been allowed to buy real estate and build in flood prone areas do you resolve it by hiking insurance rates such that coverage costs will not allow many to continue living in these areas, or do we keep dumping money into restoring the properties after they get flooded over and over.

I think the cost overrun of $24 billion would pay for a lot of relocation services.

I'd love to hear if you have a solution to the problem; it would give me something to tell my representatives in congress.

Thanks.
Brian Olsen, WWR

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Religion & Politics

I recently had someone tell me that they don't talk religion or politics with people and when asked why they said because it is the two things that people get upset about and he doesn't want that to affect their relationship.

From a recent poll by Gallup which shows the most religious states based on the percent that are very religious, depending on your state you are possibly eliminating a lot of conversations.

Most Religious States


1.  Mississippi                 61% very religious
2.  Utah                            60% very religious 
3.  Alabama                     57% very religious 
4.  Louisiana                    56% very religious
5.  South Carolina            54% very religious 

As far as politics go I hold the same theory that if you aren't able to talk politics then you eliminate a lot of conversation and as with religion a lot of possible very enlightening and stimulating conversation.

I guess one of the biggest keys is really listening to each other with the intent to listen and learn, not the intent to respond.

Best of luck in your religious and political conversations :-)
Brian Olsen, WWR

Tucanos

The Shops at Riverwoods is a great location in Provo with a variety of retail shops and restaurants and close to the Carmike Wynnsong 12.  Some people may not know that on the north end of the commercial property are residential condos & town homes in the Village at Riverwood.  Properties don't become available very often, either for commercial space or in the residential living, but feel free to contact me and I'll let you know the current market situation for this area.

In the Shops at Riverwoods, Tucanos Brazilian Grill is one of my favorite places to eat.  The buffet has great rice, beans, fried bananas, farofa, pao de queijo (cheese bread), etc. There is a large variety of meats brought to your table and one of my favorites is the grilled abacaxi (pineapple).

The Tucano's we visit most frequently is located in the Shops at Riverwoods in Provo, Utah. 

If you haven't you should check out Tucano's Birthday Club you get a free meal with a purchase anytime during the month of your birthday. So just grab a friend and go enjoy some great food. 

Tucanos- Shops at Riverwoods

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Treasure Hunt

In a previous life I had a construction company and during that time we did some construction work in Southern Utah.  One day on the dirt road that turned off the main road to get to a project we were working on, an accident occurred where a turtle was run over and killed.  Well I don't remember what kind of turtle it was, but it was an endangered turtle and because of its untimely demise the construction project was shut down until a plan could be executed to protect the turtle.

Well how about purchasing some real estate with the intent that upon owning the land you could dig at your leisure for Aztec gold that you believe is buried on the property since the 1500's.
As you go to drain a pond necessary to get to the gold you discover as does the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that there is a small delectable escargot in that pond which is also an endangered little mollusk (could be delectable with enough garlic and butter).  For each little escargot morsel that you kill whether on accident or not, it carries a fine of $50,000.00 (that is a lot of garlic and butter).

Check this out and if you are up for an adventure jump in:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/michaelwiest/ambersnail-protector-of-montezumas-treasure


Treasure Hunt
Photo: kickstarter.com


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wallsburg ~ Flooding

An often discussed item during the due diligence period of purchasing real estate is if the property is in a FEMA designated flood plain.  If the property is in a flood plain it may be worth  hundreds of dollars per year in flood insurance costs to have the property surveyed and obtain an accurate elevation of the property so that you will receive a more specific insurance quote.
I guess one thing about flood insurance as I understand it is that the rates offered are the same no matter which carrier you use.

Now let me explain the pictures below which were taken this past week mostly around my home and nearby.  It will be 17 years this year that I have lived in Wallsburg and I have never seen this much water running down the road and through my property.  The ditch in front of our home has never seen water running in it that I know of.  With warm temperatures and a lot of rain this is what we get.  And may I add we are grateful for the moisture.  We need it and have been praying for it.

A few homes in Wallsburg got some water running in them, however a lot of helping hands and shovels and the water was diverted from the homes.  It made for an exciting Sunday and Thursday.


Flooding in Wallsburg along Road


Flooding in Wallsburg through trees

Flooding along road in Wallsburg

Flooding Yard- Wallsburg Utah


Ditch of water -Wallsburg Utah

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Parleys Canyon History and Papa John's Condo

Parley's canyon is a great road providing easy and quick access between Summit County and Salt Lake City.  This canyon originally called Big Kanyon, but changed in honor of Parley P. Pratt who built the first road in the canyon for which he charged a toll.  His advertisement to get people to use the road and pay the toll, was this:
"If a road worked by the most persevering industry, an open country, good feed and fuel, beautifully romantic and sublime scenery, are any inducement, take the new road, and thus encourage public improvement."

Parley charged from 1 cent per head of sheep to 75 cents for a wagon pulled by two animals. 

The newest change to Parley's canyon is the changing of the speed limit.  Actually it is an on going thing.  There are signs in Parley's Canyon along Interstate 80 and they can change going up or down in 5 MPH increments.The change in the speed is to help travelers know how the next part of the canyon is going to be. If the roads are icy or there is a lot of stop and go traffic the speed limit can be changed.When the speed changes the new speed is the one enforced. In an article on ksl.com it is said that the changing speed limit is a success. They are now talking about the possibility of using these signs in other canyons. What do you think?

As a realtor I'm grateful for the ease of getting to Park City whether it is form Salt Lake City up Interstate 80 or from Provo up highway 189.  Now if someone will contact me about buying or selling real estate in Park City I would love to meet with them.  Specifically I would like a buyer for the Papa John's Condo, on the 11th floor of the St. Regis Deer Valley, listed for $17.9 million: https://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=28667605

Happy Driving!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Reading

...you must find time for reading...
My daughter came home from high school one day and said her English teacher asked the class, "How many of you have a book shelf in your home?" Three students raised their hand. My daughter said she was glad the teacher didn't ask how many bookshelves we had in our home; we have a lot.

My wife and I have always loved to read.  It is very gratifying to see our children acquire the love of reading as well. 

Here are some interesting reading statistics from April 2013:  http://www.statisticbrain.com/reading-statistics/

Have a great day and make some time to read!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Monday, February 10, 2014

Olympic Distractions - More Trivia!

The Olympics are off and running and there is plenty to distract you from the competition if you let it.  Don't let your idea of perfection in the sporting events, lead you to expect perfection from the construction and mechanics of housing, feeding, transporting, etc. of the games.  With the ever present danger of terrorists I can't imagine the expense and difficulty in coordinating everything.  So pray for everyone's safety and enjoy the games.

The last medal count I saw has the leaders as Norway in the lead with 7, Canada, the U.S. and Russia each with 5 and the Netherlands with 4.

Sochi, Russia looks like a really nice city on the Black Sea.  Have the Olympics helped your world geography education?  I guess first you need to know where the Olympics have been held in the past.  You probably know that the 2016 Summer games will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What about beyond that do you know where the 2018 and 2020 games are going to be?

2018 ~ PyeongChang

2020 ~ Tokyo

On the official Olympic Games website is the history of the Olympic event locations. Are you ready? How many do you think you can remember?  Are you more familiar with the geographic location because of the Olympics?

1896 ~ Athens

1900 ~ Paris

1908 ~ London

1912 ~ Stockholm

1916 Cancelled because of World War 1

1920 ~ Antwerp

1924 First year with both Summer and Winter Olympics

1924 Summer ~ Paris

1924 Winter ~ Chamonix

1928 Summer ~ Amsterdam

1928 Winter ~ St. Mortiz

1932 Summer ~ Los Angeles

1932 Winter ~ Lake Placid

1936 Summer ~ Berlin

1936 Winter ~ Garmisch-Partenkirchen

1940 and 1944 Cancelled because of World War 2

1948 Summer ~ London

1948 Winter ~ St. Mortiz

1952 Summer ~ Helsinki

1952 Winter ~ OSLO

1956 Summer ~ Melbourne/ Stockholm

1956 Winter ~ Cortina D' Ampezzo

1960 Summer ~ Rome

1960 Winter ~ Squaw Valley

1964 Summer ~ Tokyo

1964 Winter ~ Innsbruck

1968 Summer ~ Mexico

1968 Winter ~ Grenoble

1972 Summer ~ Munich

1972 Winter ~ Sapporo

1976  Summer ~ Montreal

1976 Winter ~ Innsbruck

1980 Summer ~ Moscow

1980 Winter ~ Lake Placid

1984 Summer ~ Los Angeles

1984 Winter ~ Sarajevo

1988 Summer ~ Seoul

1988 Winter ~ Calgary

1992 Summer ~ Barcelona

1992 Winter ~ Albertville

1994 Winter ~ Lillehammer

1996 Summer ~ Atlanta

1998 Winter ~ Nagano

2000  Summer ~ Sydney

2002 Winter ~ Salt Lake City

2004 Summer ~ Athens

2006 Winter ~ Turin

2008 Summer ~ Beijing

2010 Winter ~ Vancouver

2011 Summer ~ London

Friday, February 7, 2014

Televisions and Trivia Answers

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia start today.  What a great time to be alive!!  I plan on watching as much as I can, but will not turn on my TV - because I don't have one.  When I have time I will pull up events on my computer, tablet or smart phone.

I have had a television previously, however only once since I've been married was it connected to a company that provided programming and that was for a few months in 2002 so that we could watch the Winter Olympics.  Among other athletes it was awesome to watch Apolo Ohno dominate the short track.   Other than that my televisions have only been used to watch rented or owned movies.  Why you may ask: because I want my children to find their adventures first in books.  However, some of the greatest adventures that can be found are in the lives of Olympic athletes.
I hope you enjoy the Olympics and here are the answers to yesterday's Olympic trivia:

1) In what city was the first Olympics held?
          A. Athens in 1896

2) What year where the Olympics held in Utah?
          C.  2002 in Salt Lake City

3) What City has hosted the most Olympic Games?
         A.  London, hosting 3 Olympic Games

4) What Country has hosted the most Olympic Games?
         C. United States

5) What is the most games hosted in the same Country?
         A. 9
 
6) In what Country is Garmisch-Partenkirchen located?
         C. Germany

7) when can the first Olympic game be trased back to?
         B. 776 BC

8) Who was the Top Medalist in 2012
        A. Michael Phelps, with 4 Gold and 2 Silver medals

9) In what Country is the Olympic Museum located?

       C. Switzerland

10) In what Country will the 2016 Olympics be held?

       B. Brazil

How did you do? I hope you had fun learning a little bit more about the Olympic Games.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Olympic Trivia

It has been said, "If the stars came out only once a century, the whole world would turn out to see them."  Well the Olympics come around once every four years and I love them!  What other event let's us see not only people who have dedicated the time and effort to be victorious over every other opponent, but also so many of them that have the true spirit of winning and have become victorious over themselves.

How about the story of Luz Long who wanted to honestly compete against the best.  After Jesse Owens faulted twice in the preliminary trials for the long jump in the 1936 Olympics, Luz made a suggestion to Jesse, which purportedly helped Jesse qualify and go on to win the gold medal.  Luz won silver.  The story doesn't end there for Luz and his clear portrayal of an Olympic champion.  Think of where the world was at and the attitude being instilled by Hitler and then read about Luz walking the stadium after competition with his arm around Jesse Owens.

How about Mark Spitz's performance in the 1968 Olympics when he was expected to amaze the world and he came home empty handed.  Instead of quitting he trained even harder and four years later brought home seven gold medals.

Olympic Trivia


Did I mention that I love the Olympics?

For the fun of it here is a little trivia for you before the games begin, tomorrow.  Enjoy!!
 1) In what city was the first Olympics held?
     a. Athens     b. Paris     c. Rome

2) What year where the Olympics held in Utah?
    a) 1972    b) 1992    c) 2002

3) What City has hosted the most Olympic Games?
   a) London   b) Los Angeles   c) Athens

4) What Country has hosted the most Olympic Games?
   a)Canada   b)France   c) United States

5) What is the most games hosted in the same Country?
   a) 9   b) 4   c) 6

6) In what Country is Garmisch-Partenkirchen located?
   a) Finland   b) Russia   c) Germany

7) when can the first Olympic game be trased back to?
  a) 706 BC  b) 776 BC  c) 756 BC

8) Who was the Top Medalist in 2012
   a) Michael Phelps   b) Allison Schmitt   c) Missy Franklin

9) In what Country is the Olympic Museum located?
   a) United States   b) Athens   c) Switzerland

10) In what Country will the 2016 Olympics be held?
   a) Japan   b) Brazil   c) China


Come back tomorrow to see how you did on the Olympic trivia!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentine's Day

Have you ever wondered what Valentine's day is like in other countries?

In Slovenia St. Valentine is one of the Saints of Spring. Valentines day is often the first day that work starts in the fields.  Tradition is that plants start growing the middle of February.

In Japan Valentines is a day that women give chocolate to men. Make sure you get the right chocolate. giri-choco is the chocolate that is purchased for friends, bosses, and co-workers.  Hon-mei chocolate is what should be bought for boyfriends and husbands.

You can fix anything with roses or duct tapeIn Wales there is an old marriage and courting tradition, men would carve a love spoon for his beloved. This old tradition is not a large part of Valentines.  For most Welsh people Valentines is celebrated the same as it is here in the United States with chocolate and flowers.

No matter whats on the agenda for Valentines working in the fields, carving a spoon, giving chocolate or  a romantic night out.  No matter how you decide to spend your Valentine's Day, remember to keep it simple and from the heart. You can't go wrong with that.

As my son's father always says, "You can fix anything with roses or duct tape", just don't mix them up at this critical time of year.

Also you can't go wrong with my help for your Real Estate needs.  I am happy to help you in the buying or selling of Real Estate or if you need a market estimate for your property, give me a call.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Big storms, Low rates, Big debt, Low concern

How much attention do we give various news items:
Listen to the news or do an internet search and see what is talked about the most.

Big storms, Low rates, Big debt, Low concern


Big storms are hitting the east coast and a few small ones are on the west coast.  Minnesota had the nations lowest temperature at -38 degrees.  Yesterday hundreds of flights were delayed all over the north east.  This definitely has an immediate impact on a lot of people.

Low mortgage rates continue and most attribute it to the "sluggish" economy.  You probably don't care about the manufacturing index, however most people have probably noticed the stock market tanking and have even heard that the decline in stock value for the month of January was the worst since 2009.  This has an impact on a lot of people however most realize that there are ups and downs in the stock market and few people take a daily review of their stocks.

Big debt continues to racked up by us (the United States) and this Friday is the deadline on the nations debt ceiling authorization.  We just had passed Groundhog Day last Saturday which is fitting, because like the movie it appears there will be no problem with our representatives authorizing our country to increase its spending ability beyond what is taken in.  The back bones that was shone by a few representatives to allow a government shut down last October appears to have turned to noodle.  From everything I can see very few people have any concern.

Low concern in the things that don't really impact me is the attitude of the day.  The national debt?  Why worry about how much my children and grand children will pay in taxes to cover our debt or the freedom that is lost with higher taxes.  Don't you realize we just got pounded with six inches of snow that I need to go shovel.  Plus look at the value of my stocks.  Don't bother me with a measly $17.3 trillion http://www.usdebtclock.org/


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