Saturday, February 4, 2012

Learn Something Every Day -Feb 1-4, 2012

February 1, 12  Today Shirley and I put 4 windows in the wall closest to our house.  We are still learning how to use the Blue Skin product and perfecting the technique of applying it correctly.  It was not until a couple of days later when I went up to check how we were going set up scaffolding to get the four windows in place on the dormer above that I realized some of the corners on the Blue Skin were peeling up. 

Lesson learned: the primer must be sprayed wide enough before using this peel and stick product.  It is kind of like using contact cement. You don’t get the full affect without having the adhesive on both surfaces… and you have to wait 3 minutes after spraying the primer before putting the Blue Skin in place.

February 2, 12  If you are ever looking for a good deal on a major purchase at Home Depot, check to see if there is a capital “C” after the SKU number where they print the price… that is a clue that the item has been discontinued… and can be bought for less.  I have been shopping around for an air stapler to put the cedar shingle siding on the house.  I ended up getting a Bostich staple gun…original list price $459… reduced to $349.  I offered them $250… and they came back to me with  $275.  It kind of reminded me of the old days of buying or selling real estate. 

February 3, 12  We picked up the granite counter tops yesterday… but getting the heavy slabs into the house is a bit of a trick for the two of us.  So I built an elevated ledge out of 2 x 4’s with a 2 x 6 top plate that was the same height as the cabinet where the granite was going and attached it to the frame of our appliance dolly. 

From the truck we slid the slab onto the extended front-end loader of the tractor.  I could then drive it over to the front door and eliminate having to take the thing up any stairs on a dolly.  We used a couple of wooden dowels (cut up old broom handle) to roll the slab off the tractor loader so one end was received on the 36” high ledge on the dolly.  Shirley managed the dolly and I carried the other end of the 55” long slab as we walked it thru the front door and into the pantry.  

It was pretty neat to lay the granite over on its side and slide it right into place on the cabinet between the refrigerator and freezer.  Worked great. The pantry is now officially finished.  Yesterday I caught Shirley standing in the room with a huge smile... just looking around.

February 4, 12  This past week we had a meeting with Bob White, our financial planner and insurance guy from Kelowna.  We came to know Bob since he basically inherited our account from Jerry O after he passed away five or six years ago.  Jerry O sold us each sizable full term life insurance policies… an amazing feat since for most of my life I considered buying any life insurance a total waste of money.

I had sold Jerry and his wife Myrna a lot in Peachland on Lipsett Ave when I was a realtor, and then Honeybear Homes, a building partnership with Mark Albrecht, built a house for them.  Jerry sized me up as a potential insurance candidate and thru his kindness and persistence eventually sold us each one million dollar whole life insurance policies.

As we sat down together in the Beacon’s Landing Restaurant in Sydney the first thing Bob handed me was a page out of Jerry O’s files.  Attached to the page was an envelope with several newspaper clippings Jerry collected over the years that we were involved with him.  What an incredible flashback of memories!  It was amazing.  As I thought about Jerry… no longer with us in person, I looked at those clippings and my mind was flooded with fond memories. 

With those clippings I learned something about Jerry O… how his attention to details about his clients endeared them to him.  He was one of the top insurance salesmen.  And I have to say that he made the process of being sold most enjoyable.  What these newspaper clippings told me is that Jerry O didn’t stop “selling himself” after he won our business.  He never missed a birthday and often gave us a music CD or a movie DVD… like “the Waking of Ned Devine.” 

"You don't close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise." -Patricia Fripp

These are just a few of the clippings Jerry had saved in his file on me.

The two large condo buildings are Chateau on the Green and the Ponderosa Golf course is in the foreground.  This is the view from Chateaux on the Ridge... a 40-unit condo project.

There was a time I let my hair grow and not my beard... and I didn't always wear a cowboy hat.

In 1999 Acorn Homes offered a variety of products and price ranges from affordable condos in The Falls At Glen Canyon to luxury homes at Sunset Beach in Kelowna.  Leisure Village was an 80 home adult community, Morningside was a four phase single family and duplex community in Glenrosa, and Shannon Woods was seven phases with 175 single family homes and 42 condos in Fairway 3. 

We had a lot of fun raising money to build two homes with Habitat for Humanity... and our annual golf tourney basically was the main source of raising money and contributions from our main trades and suppliers.  As developers we gave the building lot, and most all of the rest of the materials and trades were donated.  The first home that we did in Shannon Woods was built in 5 days.  The foundation was ready for the building blitz beforehand and the main deck was in place, and from there the walls went up the roof was on the first day, the plumbing and electrical went in and it was insulated by day two. On day three the drywall went in with a crew of 18 guys... the board was on in the first hour and the tapers started by 9 AM.  With lots of heat and fast setting mud, the whole house had three coats with sanding between each coat... plus the ceilings were sprayed with Spantex.  Day four the doors and finishing went in and the house was painted... and day five the cabinets and flooring went in... the finish electrical and plumbing was done and by noon all that was left were some final touch ups.  Outside the landscaping and irrigation was completed on Friday afternoon and the turf was in place.  Dennis Kort, Acorn's main project supervisor, took a week of his vacation time to manage this incredible feat.  Truly a very memorable experience for all involved... it was a lot of fun.

The Cove Resort went thru a pretty controversial development approval process... as the property already had zoning for the existing Lakeshore Villa cabins.  But initially the Regional District asked me to include the Dobbin property and the Gellatly Nut Farm property in our first comprehensive development scheme... and that really opened up a can of worms.  At that time the property was still in the Gellatly family, and this brought a lot of pressure from the community to save the famous farm as a heritage park... which I totally agree was the right thing. 

So now instead of a 20 acre development, we focused on our 7 acre property.  The scaled down plans now had only 150 hotel suites and rooms... still a huge project compared to the 29 unit Lakeshore Villa operations that were there.

Our plans to build the orphanage in Mexico were in the newspapers more than once.  I don't remember ever clipping out the news stories... my mother used to do that... and Jerry O, unknown to me was doing it too... but I had other things to do.

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count.  It is the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln


  1. What a treasure trove of memory! Those articles are going into your files I hope! I remember the golf tournament , I had just moved to the Okanagan the previous fall!

  2. This is a Great blog Sherwin! I like the old newspaper clippings and the pictures of all the work you are doing on the place! Not a bad view you have there either.