How my cat taught me unconditional love

Imagine: it’s the first snowstorm of a winter in Northern Ontario. A boy is walking home from school when he notices a little kitten fighting through the snow towards him. It is obviously lost.

This scene took place in 1996. The boy was my nephew.

He couldn’t ignore the shivering kitten, so he brought her home, even though his father is very allergic to cats. A makeshift house was set up on the downstairs boudoir, as far away from my brother-in-law as possible. Inquiries were made in the neighborhood to see if anyone knew where the kitten came from, but no one claimed it.

The next day my sister called me on the phone and asked if I would like a kitten or if I knew someone who would accept it. Her husband was having trouble breathing and she was getting desperate. Although she wanted to help, she didn’t want another pet because she already had a large Russian blue cat named Nikademous and a Terri-poo dog named Teddy. I told him the best thing to do was pick up the kitten and try to find a new home for him.

You can probably guess what happened. As soon as I saw her, I fell in love. She came home with me in a cardboard box and called herself Sufi, as she had recently organized a Sufi meeting. She was a long-haired tabby with a defined demeanor who quickly became the ‘queen’ of the house, and despite her small size, she terrified Nika and Teddy.

Nika soon turned to living in the basement as she never knew what the little hairball would do next … me neither. I began to fear going down in the morning and coming home from work. I encountered one disaster after another.

Things were often hectic at night and he would find plants lying on the ground, or fallen lamps or ornaments. Sufi once sent her plate of food flying from the windowsill where she had left it out of Teddy’s reach. The bowl landed on her water dish, which broke into pieces flooding the kitchen floor.

Every time a visitor arrived, he would jump on his shoulder from the back of a kitchen chair … much to his surprise! This became a serious problem when it got bigger as it dug in its claws until it got a good grip!

Plants were her favorite toys … except for Teddy’s tail, which often wagged tantalizingly in front of her. She loved to hit him from the couch when he came to me to pet him. Her little claws would get caught in it sometimes and since she was so small, he would end up waving her!

Another favorite pastime was playing with toilet paper. If the end was left dangling, it jumped up, caught its little claws in the paper and ran to untangle the entire roll.

Another memory is forever etched in my mind. I went downstairs one morning and found one of my favorite plants on the ground. It is not that unusual! I was getting pretty proficient at cleaning after Sufi, so I put the plant back in the pot and vacuum up the spilled soil.

The roots of the plant had dried out a bit, so I took out the plastic jug I kept under the sink to water my plants. When I picked it up, the handle broke completely and the jug full of water fell to the ground. I was left holding only the handle!

I quickly mopped the floor, watered the plant, and got ready for work, as I was now quite late … and more than a little annoying.

I had a date that night after work, so I ran home to take Teddy for a quick walk. As I opened the door, a strange noise reached my ears. He lived alone so this was a bit disturbing. At first I couldn’t make out what it was, but when I opened the door I recognized that it was the vacuum cleaner.

I cautiously entered the living room where I had left the vacuum cleaner that morning (I hadn’t had time to put it away). It was one of those boat styles with a switch on one end and I guess Sufi must have jumped in and started the engine.

I have no idea how long it had been running or how long Teddy had been huddled in the corner under a table with a definite ‘bad dog’ expression on his face. The vacuum cleaner had always scared him and sadly I left it near his basket. That wouldn’t normally be a problem for him, but when Sufi started the engine, I guess Teddy must have been so scared that he peed on his bed scared.

Sufi remained Sufi and caused chaos in the home for a long time, kept playing with the toilet paper roll and my plants, and breaking my ornaments. Eventually she learned to behave better, but she is still the ‘queen’.

Why did I put up with all this? Well, Sufi had an endearing quality. From the first day I brought her home, she loved to snuggle into my chest just below my chin while watching TV. Something strange happened when she did this: no matter what challenges I had faced during the day or what she had done to upset me, my anger just melted away! All I could feel was unconditional love for the little ball of fur that purred on my chest.

Sufi taught me that when there is unconditional love, everything is forgiven.

At the time of this writing, Sufi is 12 years old. She is still the ‘queen’ of the house, sleeping at the foot of my bed and ‘catching’ socks and underwear as she has been confined to living indoors and can no longer chase squirrels and birds. She has a unique way of communicating her dislike when left alone for a long time, even though I acquired Sassy as a partner for her a few years ago. (Nika couldn’t stand it and gratefully joined another house when I moved to Canada a few years ago.)

But … she also continues to give and receive unconditional love. Whenever someone is upset, she seems to feel it and insists on giving them kitty kisses anywhere on their anatomy that she can access, then snuggles into the person’s lap. It doesn’t matter if it’s me, my daughter, or a visitor, she treats everyone the same, unconditionally!

Shadow inventory: what is it and how to find it

Many investors have been asking me about how much shadow inventory is available and how to get their hands on it. Shadow inventory generally refers to the supply of homes that have not yet come on the market, but are “hiding” in the background. In Real Estate this refers to foreclosures (REO or bank properties) or those close to the process.

Banks and mortgage servicing companies often keep properties that have not received a mortgage payment for 90 days and, in some cases, even 2-3 years.

Why do they hold out for so long?

Banks hold out as it allows them to release their inventory over time to keep their books under control and also provide that easy liquidation to stimulate the real estate economy when needed. Banks will now get more money for those newly launched properties, say 2 years ago, due to the steady rise in home prices and low inventory levels. If they chose to release everything at once, it would flood the market with “distressed properties” and reduce property values.

How much “Shadow Inventory” is there still?

Foreclosures have been declining steadily since 2013 with the highest shadow inventory at that time at 2.2 million. According to the National Association of Realtors, there are still about 4 years on the books and we may be able to see more soon.

More “Shadow Inventory”? Why? (HAMP) Affordable Home Modification Program

In 2017 and beyond, many homeowners may find it difficult to make their mortgage payments due to “restarts” with HAMP, pushing them into foreclosure. The government’s Affordable Housing Modification Program provided temporary relief to borrowers during the housing crisis. These reliefs ended after five years and now payments will “reset,” leading to increases in loan payments for nearly 900,000 homeowners. Some of them may find it difficult to keep up with payments in our current economy.

Where do investors find the “Shadow Inventory”?

Forget calling your loss mitigation department or asking your Big Bank teller. They won’t be able to help you. Instead, savvy real estate investors can approach the REO departments of smaller regional banks, credit unions, and portfolio lenders to find out what might be “lurking” in the shadows. This presents an opportunity to beat the competition and shop at greater discounts.

But my favorite way to locate “Shadow Inventory” is what I call “Drive for Dollars.” Just drive through areas that have high foreclosure activity and look for the white sticker on the front window or door of the house. It usually contains the property’s bank or asset manager information and their phone number. Give them a call and see where they are in the foreclosure process and if they are ready to make a deal!

The NEW type of “Shadow Inventory”!

There is a new type of shadow inventory on the market these days and I am not talking about the REO type. Many successful agents have their own shadow inventory. If you’ve been in business for an extended period and built up a clientele, these clients typically contact you long before the property goes on the market. It informs them of the steps required to get the house ready to show, which usually means doing repairs like painting, carpet, landscaping, staging, etc. Therefore, there is a period of time before the property hits the market by creating a different type of shadow inventory. Contacting your favorite real estate agent about this type of inventory can definitely increase your chances of finding your dream home.

Happy home hunting!

Methods for interviewing job candidates

An interview is one of the most crucial points for a company to meet a potential candidate for a job vacancy. You not only potentially understand an applicant’s abilities, but also their personality, about how they approach problems and how they behave, to name a few. Being an interviewer is an arduous task, not only will they repeatedly ask and explain, but it is they who must scrutinize each and every applicant in order to find the right person for the right job. Preparing for an interview is the next step after selecting job candidates. Today’s recruiters can choose from numerous ways to conduct an interview. In addition to personal interviews, there are phone, video, or group interviews that you could use. Ideally, incorporate different interview methods into your hiring stage. This helps interviewers select the right person to fill the position.

In this segment, we will discuss the different types of interview methods so that you can choose which option is right for your company and your stage of hiring. Choosing your interview method at the right time is not child’s play. Read on to better understand the importance of each interview method.

5 interview methods

1. Telephone interview

This is usually the first stage of the interview process; Why? Because this interview method can be set up in as little as 15 minutes, it saves both candidate and recruiter time in the hiring process. The recruiter can prepare a questionnaire to get to know the candidate better and decide if the candidate can proceed to the next stage of the hiring process.

At this stage, you can assess the candidate’s communication skills, confidence, work ethic, motivation, and critical thinking skills. You can also check here if the applicant is at high risk of attrition when hired. Questions like what skills are you excellent at, what your day is like, why are you looking for a job change, and what do they expect of you as a company.

2. Video interview

Video interviews can be done live or on tape. You choose this interview method when you are not available to personally interview the candidate or would like to check the candidate’s body language. This method is reliable when you want to read a candidate’s facial expression and determine their sincerity.

A pre-recorded video interview is very useful if you are not available for live chat or have other things attended to at the same time. Live video interviews are very useful, on the other hand, if you want to evaluate a candidate for a managerial or executive position. Here you can see their facial expressions, body language, and charisma.

Live video interviews are the same as traditional personal interviews, the only difference is that you are doing it remotely through some online applications. There are several applications that employers use to conduct video interviews. We have Skype, Zoom, Slack, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, FB Messenger, and FaceTime, to name a few. It would be beneficial to both parties in terms of preparation time and travel time (for the applicant)

In the case of prerecorded video, also known as a one-way interview, the candidate answers the questions that the interviewer has set for them to answer and then reviews them. This video recording will be sent via a link to the company email or a copy of the video can be forwarded as an attachment.

3. Group interview

If you have few positions to fill and have received a large number of applicants, it is recommended to use the group interview method. It is where the interviewer establishes an interview between 2 or more candidates to fill a single position. Typically used by employers looking for the right fit with people skills, public speaking, a collaborative approach and a team player.

As an interviewer, it is suggested to prepare group questions and individual questions. This will help you assess whether a candidate can articulate their thoughts, respect others while speaking, and their soft skills in expressing their disagreement with someone else’s opinion. Group interviews also save time and decrease turnover, resulting in money savings for employers, which is why this method is included as step two of your hiring process.

4. Panel interview

Unlike the group interview in which the interviewer conducts an interview between more than 2 applicants, a panel interview is where an applicant answers the questions of a group of executives. This type of interview method is commonly used to fill managerial or executive positions. It is used when there are several opinions to consider and the position to be filled is essential for the success of the company. One of the C-suite executives will act as chair and the others will ask their questions.

Panel interviews also assess the candidate on how he handles pressure and stress and his level of confidence and communication skills. Although this type of interview would affect more time without work from several key positions in the company, this is a sure way to find the right one to fill a position that is beneficial for all.

5. Individual interview

This interview method is commonly done by the hiring manager or hiring manager as the last step in the hiring process. This face-to-face interview allows the Hiring Manager to assess whether this candidate profile fits the culture and, for some, to check if there is a chemistry between them and the potential employee.

This stage is also where the candidate is exhibited and sold. Therefore, it is recommended that the interviewer be more prepared when conducting this interview to detect whether the candidate deserves to set foot in the company or not. Although this type of method is time consuming, there is no other approach that is better than having a personal touch during an interview.

Knowing the different types of interview methods and the needs of your company is important when establishing a hiring process for your company. Deciding the number of stages in your hiring process also amounts to considering who should conduct the interview at each step. Your set of questions will also play an important role in selecting who, from the sea of ​​applicants, deserves to fill the position.

Let them play! New NCAA College Basketball Foul Rules from a Fan’s Perspective

Let them play!

Last night, I was able to attend a Butler Bulldogs vs. The Princeton Tigers men’s basketball game at the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse on the Butler campus, an exceptional place to watch a game, a cozy 10,000 seats close to the action, amid some of the original beautiful architectural features from 1928, that are still visible: Hinkle Fieldhouse, when built, being the largest basketball stadium in the world … and although it was a game well played, the new interpretation of the foul rules got in the way of the game being truly pleasant.

Excited to see Princeton’s offense in action, Butler, for the most part, is still well-groomed and well-trained by Butler’s new coach, and Brad Stevens heir Brandon Miller closed the cuts on Princeton’s back since the beginning, forcing Princeton to shoot three points in the first half, and then, after a halftime adjustment, clearing space for their players to attack Butler and the basket one-on-one, which, under This new interpretation of the foul rules, also known as “all hands out,” caused foul, after foul, after foul, and turned the game into a ticky tack foul shooting contest when Princeton would go to the line. and then he would go to the foul line again, and then Butler would get a recovery call, and he would come back, and he would go back and forth.

By the end of games, Princeton had thrown 37 free throws, the most free throw attempts Princeton had made since the Tigers fired 40 free throws against Columbia in February 2005 … potentially a good game. played by Butler, and what should have been an easier Butler win, dragging down the free throw to eventually create a chance for Princeton to tie the game with less than ten seconds to go.

Butler managed the 70-67 victory, but the most notable team in the game was not Butler, nor Princeton, but the umpires.

While the NCAA did not directly change any foul rules on the books, here are the most important changes or “points of emphasis” umpires will be looking for this college basketball season:

(Note: The NCAA also changed the wording for the offensive blocking / charging foul, which is a welcome change, hopefully eliminating the defensive flop that had become an all too prevalent defensive tactic in college play. upward movement to pass or shoot … so basically the defensive player has to be in a defensive position earlier than last year to get a charge call).

Fouls must now be called when …

1) When a defensive player keeps a hand or forearm on an opponent.

2) When a defensive player puts both hands on an opponent.

3) When a defensive player strikes continuously extending his arm or arms placing a hand or forearm on the opponent.

4) When a defensive player uses an arm bar to impede the advance of an opponent.

What Causes This?

Well, from what I saw last night at the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse …

1) Quick whistles to any defender one on one.

2) The whistles stop the game just as the game progresses as the offensive players try to cut and bypass the screens.

3) The defense packing in the lane and allowing only three-point wide shots.

4) Quick whistles when a big man is going to shoot with two or more defenders around him.

5) It is important to note that the game does not flow.

6) The energy of the local public is being depleted by the continuous interruptions of the game. (I saw some yawns in the crowd that made me yawn too … being contagious.)

7) Players on both sides get frustrated.

8) An unintended effect – and since I’ve been watching college basketball it’s always been there – of the referees calling for more fouls on the team behind in favor, which, at least in this game, seemed to cause the best team in the court, Butler, for, even though playing better and being the best team tonight, they can’t get as far away as they should have been. (Note: ESPN commentator Jay Bilas, in Michigan State’s # 2 78-74 win over # 1 Kentucky, continually commenting that Michigan State should be way higher than they were and comments from Adreian Payne and Matt Costello after the play).

The NCAA stated that the need for these new foul interpretations, supposedly, was that the score in college basketball was at a modern-era all-time low last season. The idea and ideal, supposedly, behind these new interpretations of the rules is also that by calling these fouls this would increase the flow, movement, and athletic art of college play.

The first problem I have with this NCAA idea is the perceived need for more scoring, and that there is an ongoing idea throughout the American sports world that “more scoring” makes the game more entertaining.

My second problem with this idea and NCAA ideal is that some of the best and most entertaining basketball games I’ve seen were tough battles, where every basket made was magnified.

I think the NCAA views last year’s NCAA championship game between Louisville and Michigan as the ideal high-scoring and entertainment event, a final score of 82-76, but that their vision of that game as a college basketball game ideal fails to see that the score was not created by fouls or lack of fouls, but rather by the unique styles of each team that made the match more open and higher-scoring, to include:

1) The Louisville press, when effective, creates high-quality offensive opportunities.

2) Louisville’s press defense, once broken, leaves an open space for the offense to operate if done quickly.

3) The John Beilein system encourages high-quality photography.

4) Trey Burke was playing and was the best college basketball player last season.

5) Neither team had a truly dominant big man that could affect the other team’s shots.

6) Spike Albrecht, who averaged 2.2 points per game last season, hit 4 triples and scored 17 points in the first half.

7) The only limiting factor on offense for either team was Louisville’s Russ Smith, whose low-quality, selfish shot selection Smith finished 3 of 16 from the field was Louisville’s only offensive obstacle and games.

It is important to note that in this highly entertaining championship game, fouls and free throws had very little to do with the entertainment value of the game, rather it was the team’s praise styles, lack of dominant big men, strong offensive strategies and a player. , Albrecht, freaking out, which made the game very entertaining.

From what I saw last night at Hinkle Fieldhouse, the NCAA has chosen the wrong route to open the game, increase the score, and make the game more entertaining, and that, from their decision to reinterpret fouls, I don’t think they understand very well. either the game they rule, or the reasons why the flow of college basketball has slowed.

If you really want to increase the flow of the game, open space and increase the score (although free kicks falsely increase the score), fouls are not the way to do it.

A practical solution would be to reduce the shot clock to 30 or even 28 seconds, which would give those ball control teams a little more time to have the ball and control the pace, give the teams enough time to get and create quality offensive opportunities, and increase the number of shots fired per game.

Although it would never change now as the rise in the massive popularity of the games has coincided with the start of the 3-point shooting … the best way to increase the flow of the game would be to eliminate the triple as players would have to . You’ll learn to run down the lanes properly on the fast break and won’t find yourself in predictable areas on the court while playing offense for defenders to take. Although this would never happen now, the 3-point shooting has, over the years, become part of the problem for the flow of the game. Note that it was the era of the player who didn’t grow up with the 3-point shooting as part of their game, that is, Magic, Bird, Jordan, and therefore players who had to be stronger on offensive fundamentals. of the game (which does not include excessive 3-point practice), which brought college basketball into the era of popularity it has today and also brought the NBA to its best level of play in its history despite more defenses. physics known to the game in the late 1980s and early 1980s. 1990s.

Of course, over time, college players will adjust in part to these new interpretations of fouls and find new ways to limit the mobility of the offensive player by getting in their way and standing in front of them, and in the present, coaches will design more zone defenses. to protect his players from fouls (and thus increase three-point attempts), but this does not make basketball more visible.

So instead of increasing the number of fouls, after watching last night’s game at Hinkle Arena, it seems to me that the NCAA should be more realistic, accept the game as it currently is: the current skill level of the players, the physique current and improve players’ strength, as the NCAA board members and coaches who made these decisions used to play or start watching the game, and take into account the current popularity of the college game, and instead of change the game, their enjoyment and the possible outcomes of the game in To give us what they perceive we want, while still respecting the rules, go back to how the referees called the game last year with the improved way of determining offensive fouls and frankly, just let them play!

3 Difficult But Helpful Attributes That Will Help You Succeed

Sometimes we have to do difficult things to be great. If we do easy things, our lives become difficult in the future. If we do difficult things, our life becomes easy in the future. Doesn’t this remind you of the John F Kennedy quote about going to the moon in 1962? We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things (achievements and aspirations), not because they are easy, but because they are difficult, because that challenge is one that we are. reluctant to postpone, and one that we aim to win. ” To progress in life we ​​have to constantly do things that we perceive as difficult. I would like to share with you three difficult things that you must do and that I want you to commit to so that you can improve your level of efficiency and productivity.

These three things will help you work toward your goals, whatever your goals, whether you have career goals, business goals, or a personal goal to exercise or be healthier.

(I) Get up early at 5 am

A study conducted by the University of Texas in 2008 showed that students who identified themselves as morning people scored better than those who were “night owls.” Subsequent research has shown that early risers are more productive, better planners, and better goal achievers. Getting up early has huge benefits. Imagine being able to consistently exercise early every day and reach your fitness goals, meet all your deadlines at work, and be able to embark on a new hobby. Here’s what you can accomplish if you make a firm resolve to identify yourself as an early riser and get up early at 5 a.m.

(II) Working long hours

Gone are the 60s where there were no mobile phones, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Internet. We are more distracted these days than ever. It’s easy to lose focus because our focus has changed due to the ever-changing technologically advanced world.

Working long hours can help you shift your focus from distractions and turn your dreams into reality. How many people dream of writing a book, how many dream of being physically fit and looking like health magazine models, how many people do you know who would like to start a serious business or get a degree? All of these things require concentrated work that will take many hours.

Unfortunately, few people these days have the ability to disconnect from the world and do four to six hours of concentrated work. Take advantage of your ability to work long hours and possess a rare attribute that most people lack in today’s world. This will set you apart and allow you to achieve all of your goals.

(III) Think long term

Live in the present but think about the future. Too many of us get caught up in the joys of the moment and forget the future we want to create. Human beings are the most intellectually capable of all species in the world, but they are still limited by the inability to think beyond the present.

I encourage you to develop a 5-year plan for your ideal self in all key areas of your life, namely career, spirituality, health, finances, and relationships. Take a moment each day to remind yourself of what you want to achieve in the long run. This will help you not only to live in the present, but to prepare yourself psychologically and unconsciously for the future you want to create.

Living this way will help you create a meaningful life and not get caught up in day-to-day activities that don’t help you create the change you want to see in your life. If you do this, you will appreciate it many years later and you will not have to look back regretfully and wonder what you did with your life.