Tag Archives: Macedon

Lunch with the Miners

Lunch with the Miners

Elizabethe and I had lunch with the Miners today.  Brent and Karen Miner work in the temple with us.  He is one of the counselors in the temple presidency, and prior to that, he was my shift coordinator.

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Brent & Karen Miner

We met for lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse in Victor.  We have a favorite waitress there who works on Fridays so we asked to be seated in her section.

Someone assumed we were coming with 20 guests.  (I’m not sure how they came to that conclusion.)  It was just the four of us.

We had some nice conversation and some great food.  It is Elizabethe’s favorite restaurant.  Plus, the chef knows how to cook a steak rare. Unfortunately, many restaurants don’t have a clue as to what rare, medium and well done mean.

We also had a couple of coupons which we shared with the Miners.

Cold Sweep

We have another cold sweep moving in, and it is coupled with high winds.  They have set up a Red Cross emergency shelter in Macedon.  Many homes are without power and that’s not good when the temperatures are dropping in to the teens tonight.  It is also supposed to snow tonight or tomorrow.

Wasps

Hornets

Here I sit.  I hear, “tink, tink… tink… tink, tink, tink.”  Wondering what it is, I look at the office light and hornets are diving at it.  Quickly I leave to find some spray.

I find a small bug bomb, and I set it off in my office and evacuate.  I’m done working in my office for  the day.

Outside

Walking around outside I find a hole with hornets going in and out.  It looks serious.  Three or four enter every second.  It’s a big hornets’ nest inside the wall!

I set off two more bug bombs inside.  One in the camera room, and the other I set off in the attic.  Between the three I hope it kills the nest inside the wall.

Temple Time

It’s temple time and they are still flying in and out of the hole.  I will check it in the morning, but for now, we’re off to the temple.

At the temple I met a nice couple from Minnesota.  He works for a communications company and I told him I retired from AT&T.  We had a lot in common.    Like many, he asked what brought is to Palmyra.  It was fun sharing our story.

Snow

Maureen (one of our tenants) claims she saw groppel falling in Macedon.  I didn’t see any here, so it won’t make my Season Watch page.  It is getting colder however.

Palmyra Temple Photos

If you are looking for Palmyra Temple Photos, please visit my page at http://www.fineartbydb.com.

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Palmyra Temple

These LDS Temple Photographs come framed and matted and ready to hang.  I also have other temples too…

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San Diego Temple

Duty at the Hill

Duty at the Hill

We pulled duty at the Hill Cumorah tonight.  When all of the missionaries have a big meeting to attend, they call upon some of the local members to be at the Visitors’ Center.  Elizabethe and I did our duty tonight.

The night before Thanksgiving was pretty quiet at the Hill.  We didn’t have a single visitor while we were there.  I got up a few times just to take a picture or two of some of the displays while Elizabethe worked on her sudoku puzzles.

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Nativity Set on Display

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Christus Statue at Hill Cumorah

Aside from an appointment earlier in the day, I spent the day working in my office.  Nothing exciting, just catching up with administrative work.

I did stop and pick up a milkshake after making the bank deposit today.  I tried out the Patty Shack’s (Rt. 31 Macedon) shakes.  While the flavor was good, it wasn’t cold enough.  It was more like cold flavored milk.  While I had heard this same complaint from someone else, I thought I’d give it a try.  Yup, they were right.  Cold flavored milk.

Our plan for tomorrow is to do absolutely nothing.  That’s right… nothing.  We each picked out some simple food to prepare.  Elizabethe picked out shrimp and I picked out some beef wellington puff pastries.  That, and some carrot and celery sticks and we’re all set for tomorrow.

Working Wife

Working Wife

I have a working wife for the next few weeks.  Elizabethe is back at her old job while the person who took her job 3 years ago is out on maternity leave.  It’s funny, because most of the training materials they gave her to bring her up to speed were written by her.

I bet’s she’s glad she documented things well.

That leaves me to fend for myself.  While I enjoy cooking, my busy schedule took me to fast-food places a couple of times today.

So, I walk in to McDonald’s and a toddler greets me with a big smile.  I said, “Hi,” and she proceeded to get shy.  On the way out, her mom asked if she was going to tell me, “Goodbye”.  Again, she got shy real quickly.

I stood there and we had a great conversation about family and the area.  I explained that what we were doing wouldn’t have happened in California, but it happens all of the time here in New York.  People, in general, are more friendly here.

Driving through Macedon I saw today is their dissolution election day.  While I think people are going to be in for a huge surprise a few years down the road, I’m glad I don’t live there, and I hope we don’t have that sort of in-fighting take place here in Palmyra.  My prediction:  Taxes for most homes in Macedon will go up in about 3-5 years and the people outside the former village will have regrets for having made this move.  The people inside the village will enjoy their lower taxes.

This evening I address a group of people who call themselves the RPEG – Rochester Photo Editing Group.  It was a delightful group – largely older, retired folks, who love learning about Photoshop and other digital photo manipulation techniques.  (I really dislike calling retouching or manipulation “editing”… but you knew that if you’ve been reading my blogs.)  Aside from the name, it was fun.

 

Pills

Pills

I went to the doctor today about my cough.  I came home with a bunch of pills.

I have mixed feelings about pills.  We live in a day and age where many of us would be dead if it were not for antibiotics or other life-saving pills.  On the other hand, I don’t like the idea of having to take a pill for life.  Perhaps it might be necessary to control some chronic condition, but it still bothers me.

It turns out I have some sort of bronchial infection.  So, I was prescribed prednisone to control the inflammation, antibiotics to fight the bacteria, and drug to help with the cough and to be used in conjunction with guaifenesin.  The last time I was on prednisone I felt like I could conquer the world.  Every ache and pain left my body.  Not in a cloudy hazy way, but because it relieves inflammation, all my joints stopped aching.

She did say I’m contagious until the antibiotics kick in, so looks like I have to cancel some activities for tomorrow.

First Monday Event

The First Monday Event was this morning, and in spite of my coughing, I still hosted it.  We went do the Aqueduct Park and took some pictures, as you can see here…

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Lock 29

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Looking in to Lock 29

Anyone interested in taking photos should join us on the First Monday Events.  Bring a camera and come take pictures.  It is a great way to learn from others, meet new friends, and have a great time.

Small Town Events

Small Town Events

Large cities lack several things, but one are small town events.  The community of a small town offers so much that you cannot get in a crowded city.  Some large cities have a few close-knit neighborhoods, but even those lack the closeness of a small town.

Today I attended an event in Macedon.  Macedon is Palmyra’s neighbor to the west, and Palmyra and Macedon share the same school district.  Both villages are on Route 31 and the Erie Canal, and at one time, Macedon was part of Palmyra.  The event was to honor a man from the village of Lyons (about 15 miles east of Palmyra) for his community service in Macedon.  (For those who do not understand what Western New York is like… Western New York consist of many small hamlets and villages, with very few cities.  A town, by the way, is short of township, and it is a subdivision of the county.)

This event was somewhat ad hoc, and that is what I liked most about it.  It wasn’t like the Village of Macedon had some big shindig at the Village Hall.  No, this was a small gathering with some pot luck food items, held in a pavilion at the park.  They had a few people tell some stories about the man being honored, and then they presented him with a certificate of appreciation.  The man in turn, presented the village with a birdhouse his grandson and he made.

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Mayor Marie Cramer Presents Certificate to Mark DeCracker

It was a small thing, but it is the small things that count.

As a result of attending, I found out about a lot of small things happening around Macedon.  In a couple of weeks, there is going to be a play presented at this pavilion.  Yes, it will be during pageant, but it is being offered several evenings (I believe 3, the 17th, 18th and 19th of July) so someone can attend pageant one night, and the play another.

I do think that small towns can use the help of everyone to spread the word about events like this.  We have social media, but unfortunately, because Facebook operates on popularity of posts, events with small followings get shoved aside in favor of silly viral videos.  So, when you find a small town event on Facebook, share it with EVERYONE.

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I also took a drive out to the hill to get some photos of the stage set up progress.

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Stage Construction

In a few days, this high-tech stage will be fully assembled, and next week, participants will begin practicing.

If you have never seen Hill Cumorah Pageant, and you live anywhere in Western New York, you owe it to yourself to see the most spectacular outdoor play.  It has been running for over 75 years.

For more information, visit http://www.hillcumorah.org

Free Presentation

Free Presentation

Perhaps free presentation sounds like there might be some catch.  I admit, in some cases, that is the case.  Our chamber of commerce is struggling to grow and improve.  They need support.  Tonight was a great example.

Tonight we had a presentation by one of our commercial members about retirement.  It was great.  Elizabethe and I were able to ask some very specific questions and the speaker had the answers.  And, to top it off, he didn’t try to sell anything to us, or get us to come to his office.  It was very professional and the type of informational presentation that many people would pay to hear.

The sad part about the evening was it was attended by 4 people (5 if you count the speaker.)

How do you get the word to people about stuff like this?

The Macedon Palmyra Walworth Chamber of Commerce is rebuilding.  We have a few dedicated board members who are working to make the chamber a valuable business resource.  These Business After Hours, as we call them, are great for networking and we’ve decided to make every other Business After Hours an educational presentation.

For the $65/year for an individual business person to join, you definitely get your money’s worth, but like anything, there needs to be some support.  Thus, if the chamber offers a great presentation about retirement, what value is it if you don’t attend?

It’s the old adage that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.  Only, in this case, you can get them to the spring so they can drink!

My point is this… if you own a business, take advantage of the chamber of commerce and networking opportunities.  They will provide you with the best return on your investment.

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Landlords

I spent a good portion of the day dealing with landlord stuff.  There is sure a misconception among some renters that (a) landlords are “rich”, and (b) the money they pay for rent goes directly in to the landlords pockets.

Nothing could be further than the truth.

Let’s take a hypothetical situation based on some real numbers…

The landlord owns property in a repressed income area, but an area where there is a shortage on housing.  In other words, there are not a lot of rentals available, but the people looking to rent don’t have a lot of money either.  This is a difficult case.

The landlord’s mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance total $1000/month (and assume this is after any tax breaks, if any, the landlord receives).  However, for this neighborhood, the average rent runs about $900/month, and because it is an economically repressed area, there is little appreciation on the property.

So, I ask this about the landlord’s choices.  Does the landlord…

a)  Charge $1000/month and break even and take a loss on any repairs, or not repair the building?
b)  Does the landlord charge $900/month and take a loss on rent and repairs, or not repair the building?
c)  Does the landlord charge $1100/month and break even?
d)  Does the landlord charge $1200/month, and set the extra $100 aside for repairs and building maintenance?
e)  Does the landlord sell the building hoping to recover his initial investment, and let the new landlord deal with it?
f)  Other ideas?

The ideal answer is d) Charge $1200/month, and set the extra $100 aside for repairs and building maintenance.

The other landlords in the are in the same predicament, and if they ALL did it, it bring in tenants who can afford the rent for that neighborhood.  In other words, part of the repression problem is you have renters who are attempting to live above their means.  The other part is you have landlords who let them get away with it by taking a loss, or letting their building fall in to disrepair.

It is a tough scenario.

Going back to my original premise, not all landlords are “rich”, and some may not be making a lot of money on the income from rent.  Most are hoping to get a small windfall when they sell the property, but in the mean time, the cash-flow isn’t a huge amount.  Of course, the idea is that in the long run, the property will make them money.

Another part of the “rich” fallacy is that the assets of a landlord are liquid.  Many non-property owners do not realize that if you have, for example, $100,000 in equity, you cannot simply walk in to the bank and say, “I want to take $20,000 out to repair my home.”  What happens instead is the bank offers a line-of-credit, which you apply for just like any other loan, and then the building becomes collateral.  Thus, your $100,000 in equity now drops to $80,000 because you borrowed $20,000 against it.  You also now have a monthly payment on the $20,000 loan.  Thus, it is possible for a person to be “asset” rich, and “cash-flow” poor, and as long as those assets are in a non-liquid form, they can remain cash-flow poor.

What many renters who have never owned property don’t realize is this…

Most rent, if not all, goes directly back in to the property.  Here is a very realistic example…

Amount owed:  $120,000
Property value:  $155,000
Mortgage + insurance + taxes:  $800
Rent received:  $1000/mo
Annual Repairs:  $1000/yr

In this example, if the landlord were to sell, they would pocket about $29,000.  But, that $29,000 is not available for them right now.  They may not even consider selling the house for 20 or 30 years.  So, let’s not look at that right now.   Consider that $29,000 their retirement fund (which isn’t a lot for retirement.)

This landlord is getting $200/mo over and above the rent received.  But, they have about $87/mo in repairs.  Thus, they are getting about $113/mo “profit”.

Can you live on $113/month?

Can you make your car payment on $113/month?

Now, let’s assume they own 4 homes they rent, and all 4 are the same scenario.  Can you live on $452/month?  5 homes?  Can you live on $565/month?

There are a lot of landlords who own property as an “investment”, hoping to make their money when they sell the properties.  30 years ago, that was a big motivation to invest in property, however since 2008, that bubble has burst and it has become more risky in certain markets, and it has become more difficult to receive a mortgage loan.

I guess my point is this…

It’s a long-term investment, and it isn’t easy, quick money.  It is hard work, patience, and a lot of hope that the market is in your favor when you go to sell.  And, although there are land barons who are rich, that is not the case for all landlords.  Many are hardworking, do-it-yourselfers, who rely and that extra income, as small as it might be, to pay a few bills.  In the mean time, the equity in the property is their retirement fund.

Ribbon Cutting at TSC

I’m not sure how many people know about the new Tractor Supply Store (aka TSC) (http://www.tractorsupply.com) on Route 31.  Today they had their ribbon cutting ceremony with assistance from the Macedon Palmyra Walworth Chamber of Commerce (http://mpwcc.org). (Yes, we have a chamber of commerce and it is alive and doing well.)

Elizabethe and I attended.  It was short and sweet, like a ribbon cutting should be.  Mayor Cramer from the Village of Macedon was there to congratulate the new manager.  The chamber was well attended too as many of the board members were there too.  TSC will be a good addition to the area.

After the ribbon cutting at TSC we headed to Canaltown Cinema to see the new Peabody movie (http://www.canaltowntheater.com).  It’s a cute movie based on the cartoon many of us grew up watching in the 1960s.  Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy, Sherman, travel through time in the Way-back machine.  And, just like the old cartoon, the new one is true to form as they visit Ancient Troy, Italy and Egypt.  It has a cute plot and storyline.  It’s a good family movie.

Speaking of the Chamber of Commerce, specifically MPWCC, we are advancing it forward.  The board is working with the Ad Council to rebrand the chamber so it can be a vital part of this area.  I remember as a kid in Moscow, Idaho, the Chamber of Commerce was the go-to place for people who were new to the area or wanted to know about businesses in the area.  That is where you went for maps and information.

Times have changed a bit.  The MPWCC may not have a brick-and-mortar office where people can come to get maps, but we want to make our on-line resources viable and we want to promote commerce in the area.  Good commerce.  The types of businesses that make you want to shop, work and conduct business locally.

So, please, support us in our efforts.

MPWCC Dinner

Another busy day with a fun ending.

Tonight Elizabethe and I attended the Macedon Palmyra Walworth Chamber of Commerce dinner.  The chamber honored a member, Ann Bills, who has been a member for over 50 years.

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Ann Bills – Member for 50+years.

 

We were also pleased to have Senator Nozzolio as well as Town Clerk Lynne Green present.

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Senator Nozzolio, Lynne and Dick Green

The dinner was at the Carey Lake Victorian Party House.  We had never been there.  Quite an impressive place.

Forgotten Coat

First thing I did this morning was rendezvous with a fellow networker to pickup my coat that I left behind yesterday morning.  I was so focused on getting Elizabethe to the airport on time I left the networking meeting without my jacket… and without my presidential box of stuff.  (I’m serving as president of Tri County Networkers for the next 6 months.)

From there, I decided to save a book customer the Amazon shipping, so I personally delivered the book along with a refund of her shipping.  Since the customer is on Route 31, just a mile away from where I had to pickup my jacket, I figured, why not?

Next, while I was out that way, I decided to check out an old cemetery.

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St. Patrick’s

I spent a good portion of the day installing exit lights in the basement.  I was told I need to install them over the exit doors for when I have classes down there.  Now I have two hard-wired exit lights, with battery backup (in case of a power outage) and flood lights (which come on during a power outage).