Category: Popular Culture

As recommended by Glenn Beck?


Transcribed from the radio and the Hellickson website:

“Hi, it’s Glenn Beck. You probably know how I feel about real estate. I have too many family and friends who have lost their savings, college fund, retirement money, even their own home. But here’s the thing. It doesn’t have to end that way, because not all Realtors are created equal. There are some who put a sign in some yard, put your home on some endless list and then cross their fingers.

But then there are others that go another way. I’m talking about real estate agents like Michael Hellickson.”

You can hear the entire transcript of the Glenn Beck ad on the Hellickson website.

What kind of a company is Hellickson?

I would love to tell you, but I’ve been censored by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. I noted the rule-breaking and fines that this company has received over the last few years and received a request that I remove this information from my website.

Social Media rated by income

Is there an online class divide? The research, and our own use, suggests that there is.

In “Does your social class determine your online social network?”, author Breeanna Hare found that people in more affluent demographics are 25 percent more likely to be found friending on Facebook, while the less affluent are 37 percent more likely to connect on MySpace.

Even more affluent are users of Twitter and LinkedIn, as almost 38 percent of LinkedIn users earn more than $100,000 a year.

They also found a strong overlap between those who use Facebook and those who use LinkedIn.

But we already knew that, didn’t we?

Users with household income above $75,000
Facebook — 41.74 percent
MySpace — 32.38 percent
LinkedIn — 58.35 percent
Twitter — 43.34 percent

Users with household income under $50,000
Facebook — 28.42 percent
MySpace — 37.13 percent
LinkedIn — 17.34 percent
Twitter — 28.36 percent

Century 21, Coldwell Banker and…. Playboy?


Rumor has it that Playboy was quietly being shopped around for $300 million and Apollo Capital Partners who owns Realogy, Century 21, Coldwell Banker and Better Homes & Gardens, has been approached to purchase the floundering dirty magazine business.

Former CEO Christie Hefner would have received $1.7 million, on top of her $2-million severance payment, if the adult entertainment company had been acquired by another company before March 31, according to a company filing last week.

The battered company’s market capitalization is now around $100 million and nobody has been willing to pay the substantial premium that it would take to persuade Hef to sell.

Sources said the sellers are looking for far more than the company’s market capitalization because that would ensure Hef has enough on hand to maintain his lavish lifestyle.

The Playboy bunny ears are one of the most famous trademarks in the world, but the empire has fallen on hard times as the Internet and video-on-demand have eroded its core brand, the magazine.

Hefner, now 83 years old, said recently that one of his biggest regrets was taking Playboy public.

Other Playboy/Real Estate news:

Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation holds fundraiser at the Playboy Corporate Headquarters in Chicago.

Hef’s new girlfriend, Crystal Harris (no relation!) is a real estate agent!

Birds-eye view of Playboy Mansion on Zillow.

Who Bought Hugh Hefner and Playboy Wife Kim’s House for $18 Million?

When staging a home for sale, no Playboy Bunnies!

Laid out on a granite slab

The Great Wish across America is to resume the life of comfort-and-convenience that seemed so nirvana-like just a few short years ago, when the very constellations of the heavens might have been renamed after heroic Atlanta realtors and Connecticut hedge fund warriors, and the boomer portfolios groaned with earnings, and millions of graying corporate salary mules dreamed of their approaching retirement to a satori of golf and Viagra, and the interior decorators grew so rich installing granite countertops that they could buy their own houses in the East Hampton, and every microcephalic parking valet in Las Vegas qualified for a bucket full of Ninja mortgages, and Lloyd Blankfein could dream of divorcing his wife to marry his cappuccino machine.

Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler has written for the Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone and the New York Times.

Will Seattle become a one newspaper town? Seattle PI put up for sale

We got the saddest news over the weekend, Seattle’s oldest newspaper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is being put up for sale by the Hearst Corporation. If no buyer is found in 60 days, they can close it down.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for other papers, of course, and many, if not most of our newspapers are in the same situation. With readership down, many businesses don’t want to advertise, and classifieds are practically dead.

It will be a challenge to make papers relevant and provide information that one can’t get elsewhere, keeping subscriptions up, to lure advertisers.

Several features still seem to be popular. In Sunday’s paper, the advertising circulars there are unrivaled. Even with online coupons, the ad circulars remain popular. Cars. The car section is still huge. And real estate open house schedules. There is still no other comprehensive online equivalent.

As many have noted, the separation of the advertising and editorial departments have often lead to journalists digging their own grave. Yet what is the alternative? You often see book reviewers referring to some book on Amazon instead of a neighborhood bookstores website, a neighborhood bookstore that might actually buy advertising.

Our local newspaper real estate section is constantly referring to Zillow and Redfin and Trulia, calling up their executives for a quote, instead of calling the CEO’s of the local traditional real estate firms, the ones who actually buy ads every single week.

John Cook, who has a new tech site called Tech Flash, spent a good part of his career at the Seattle PI and writes about his take on the potential PI sale and says “It’s a sad day for us here at TechFlash.”

In his tech column John continually championed Redfin and Zillow, promoting, fawning, citing, quoting. Yet I can’t remember a single ad they ever bought in the Seattle PI. He’s continuing his romance at the Puget Sound Business Journal, granting column space to Redfin’s CEO to wax melodic about whatever flavor of the day catches his fancy. It’s one thing to report, it’s quite another to promote and pimp.

Of course, we don’t want our journalists to check the list of advertisers before they set pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. But selective reporting, ommissions and failure to check facts has the same result and is just as bad as being openly biased.

It’s easy to see how the same thing that’s happening at the PI could happen to the Business Journal, though the PSBJ has something that some folks want in the form of detailed residential and commercial property sales, permits, liens and bids, so they will probably be able to keep a good portion of their subscription base. But if that can be found easily online sometime in the future, maybe not. Puget Sound Business Journal prints most of their current stories online and TechFlash almost totally online (except for a once-a-week page), has very few ads, and is a stand-alone website. They have 3 writers listed. How are they paying them and can they continue to do so? I would think they’re living on borrowed time there, while they search for a successful way to monetize their site.

Just today, the New York Times had a story, “You Talkin’ to Me? New York’s Brash, Boisterous Blogosphere”

For the past few years, blog comments sections, acting as virtual town squares, have offered residents around the country a forum in which to weigh in — and vent — on a wide spectrum of local issues. But given New York’s size and diversity, not to mention its fabled brashness, political energy and high emotion, its blogosphere is taking a particularly striking shape

The world’s best newspaper is discussing the movement of discourse from the “Letters to the Editor” section to the “comments” section of neighborhood blogs.

How sad. We’re gaining so much, but losing so much more in the process. When a newspaper’s editorial staff disappears, it is a serious loss to society and a blow to democracy. I don’t have an answer, but I do know that we can’t afford to lose serious professional journalists. Though it may be impossible to be totally neutral and impartial on certain topics and stories, at least that was the professional journalists directive, and they often succeeded. If the only watchdogs of our government and corporations are bloggers, heaven help us.

(Note: I have two blogs on the Seattle PI website, Seattle Real Estate Professionals and the Capitol Hill blog. My grandmother worked for years for the Seattle Times, yet we all knew that the PI was a better paper, and we had a “secret” subscription for all those years. Now I can subscribe openly but if this paper closes, our city will be so much the worse for it.)


Real Estate Broker Offers Free Wedding Reception or Honeymoon to Same Sex Couples

Gay Cake

With the passing of the same sex marriage law in California, the estimated 100,000 domestic partners in California will have the opportunity to join millions of other Americans in holy matrimony. While California braces for the onslaught of applications for marriage licenses from same sex couples due to the historic California Supreme Court decision to legalize same sex marriage, same sex marriage protesters and gay rights supporters are preparing for rallies across the state.

In the midst of the controversy to legalize gay marriage, San Diego real estate company Wellsford Realty is offering to pay for the wedding reception for same sex couples married in California when purchasing a home, condo, or vacation home using their services.

“It’s more than showing appreciation for our customers,” Michelle Koert of Wellsford Realty said of their Pride Promotion. “We understand that domestic partners want all of the securities and happiness that investment in a home has to offer a couple. We encourage same sex couples from out of the area to purchase their vacation home in San Diego.

Another nasty blogging death

Death by blogging

It turns out that death by blogging is greatly exaggerated, but New York Times writer Matt Richtel is concerned that bloggers are often paid based on how much they write and whether anyone reads them. He likens this to a “sales commission,” a comparison that evokes Alec Baldwin chalking “ALWAYS BE CLOSING” onto a blackboard in the real estate movie version of Glengarry Glen Ross. (“First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”)

EPerks is still reeling from the bad publicity for paying bloggers to write about their company. (Even now when you Google Eperks, most of the entries are paid posts.)

Redfin continues to seek paid bloggers and is offering $40 a post.

PayPerPost is paying bloggers $28 this month to write about Renuzit Home Deodorizer.

Housing Predictor is paying bloggers $65-$75 per entry.

And I’m doing this for free?

Carpenter’s home is fans “Graceland”

The Carpenters

To Karen and Richard Carpenter fans, their home in Downey, California is their Graceland, so says Carpenters aficionado Jon Konjoyan, a 57-year-old Toluca Lake music writer and promoter who is leading a campaign to save the Carpenters house from destruction.

The five-bedroom tract house and a smaller next-door dwelling that was connected to it by an enclosed walkway was where Richard and Karen Carpenter fine-tuned their greatest hits in the 1970s.

The pair lived in the main house with their parents. The adjoining house was where there was an office, rehearsal studio and recreation room. Karen passed away in 1983, the parents remained in the residence until Harold Carpenter’s death in 1988 and Agnes Carpenter’s in 1996. Richard Carpenter sold the place in mid-1997.

Now new owners want to tear down the house that was featured on their album “Now & Then”.

Fans love Carpenters, not carpenters

Googie versus Goliath

Amber Trillo photo
Set your Tivo’s to see my interview with Jenny Cunningham, a reporter with KCTS-TV (9) in Seattle at 7:30 this evening on Channel 9. She has been working on a segment called, “Googie versus Goliath,” and it’s a look at the landmarking process in Seattle and the controversy surrounding the Ballard Manning’s/Denny’s battle. She invited me to add my two cents to the proceedings, as I’ve been documenting Googie architecture in the Seattle area for several years on The show will be repeated again Sunday morning 2/10 at 10:30 am.

Mannings 1964

Many folks have asked me what prompted my interest in Google and I have to think it was looking at the Space Needle most every day outside my window. We’re living here with the largest known monument to Googe Architecture right in our backyard. What’s not to love?

Space Needle

Googie Architecture is most closely associated with the popular architecture and culture of 1950’s and 60’s Southern California, but the Seattle area had it share as well. Though quicky disappearing, there are still some remnants of this modern and space-age look around Seattle, and this Ballard Mannings building is one of them, and that’s why it’s so important to try to preserve this building.

Googie Architecture features bold angles, sweeping cantilevered roofs and pop-culture design. It was a way to grab and hold the attention of a budding car-culture, as we sped by on the freeways. It was a glimpse of the future, Today.

Knute Berger has a great series of articles about the controversy at Crosscut, our local online magazine of news from the Great Nearby.

Denny’s fans hunger for a historic grand slam in Seattle (Los Angeles Times)

All Hail The King


RisMedia notes How Graceland Celebrates the King’s Birthday.

Elvis, Jesus and General Lee

Become a member of Elvis Candlelight and promote a greater understanding of Spirit through the example and spiritual seeking of Elvis Presley during his life time, and his continuing presence in the world.

Marlow and Elvis

There are many ETA’s (Elvis Tribute Artists) but few PTA’s in the U.S.

Marlow/Priscilla at the Elvis Invitationals

Other agents and real estate folks love Elvis too….

Elvis Real Estate

Elvis Birthday Events at Graceland

Elvis Vogrin, Re-Max Agent

Boston real estate agent, Elvis Doda
Elvis Turkovich, Aspen Realty

Elvis Chin, Singapore Real Estate

Zillow loves Elvis

Maverick Daredevil Real Estate Artists and such

Frank\'s Book

This just in via email from Mr. McKinney, self-described “Maverick Daredevil Real Estate Artist”, about his hero Evel Knievel, who died yesterday at the age of 69.

Evel Knievel died today. I am hard pressed to explain the uncontrollable outpouring of emotion I experienced when I learned the news, and watched a tribute to his life on ESPN tonight.

Evel Knievel will always be one of my heroes. Until today, he was the only living “super hero” I ever knew. The only one who actually leapt off the comic book pages and came to life for me when I was a young boy. As I grew a bit older, I realized what an impact Evel had on the formative years of my life. We know how impressionable we are just before we turn teenager. For the years leading up to that milestone for me, I vividly recall being transfixed less than two feet from the screen of a small 15-inch black and white TV watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports portray the larger-than-life daredevil attempt so many of his death defying motorcycle jumps. My world came to a halt when these events were shown on TV. Yes, I was infatuated with the stunts, but I wanted to understand how Evel thought. What caused for him to be able to take such enormous risks when the rest of the world were just spectators.

Oh, how I wanted to be him.

Evel Knievel

We lived on 16 acres in rural Indiana. After watching his jump over many double-decker buses in Wembley Stadium in London in the mid-70’s, I recall sprinting outside to discard the measly 10 stacked bricks out from underneath my own ramp, and inserting a 3-foot tall metal trash can turned upside down under the ramp. This would give me greater distance, yet more fear. I grabbed my Schwinn bike with banana seat, my pee-wee football helmet and raced to the top of a steep hill in our back yard.

As I sat trembling on my bike on the top of that hill I imagined I was Evel at the top of his ramp inside a stadium with thousands of cheering fans.

With my heart racing and mouth dry, I pedaled and sped as fast as I could toward that over 45-degree take off ramp. With a friend watching, I hit the ramp, and launched what seemed to be 10′ in the air. I remember looking down, as I was sailing so unbelievably high in the air, at my friend’s face staring up at me in total amazement. He seemed so far below me. I landed with such force that I cracked all the welds from my bike frame (probably cracked a couple of other things too), and ruined my bike, but I made the jump. Just like Evel. It is a memory that I will never forget. Getting over the fear, following through with a challenge and pretending to be one of my heroes for one chilly Indiana Sunday afternoon.

I am proud and even fortunate to say Evel Kneivel’s life influenced how I choose to live mine. I am now aware that he taught me a behavioral pattern when I was unaware I was learning one.

It just occurred to me, look at the moniker below my name on my homepage “The Maverick Daredevil Real Estate Artist.” I will never forget how I felt when I was referred to by the Wall Street Journal as a real estate “Daredevil.” Not worthy of the comparison, but blushed with the honor nonetheless. For further proof of the influence, see a news archive photo of me launching over a replica of my 1st $50,000 fixer-upper at the launch party for my 2nd best seller, Frank McKinney’s Maverick Approach to Real Estate Success

Evel Knievel was a performer, daredevil and professional risk taker. He made millions (over 300 million). One of my favorite life’s mantras, actually it is the 25th Chapter in my first book Make it Big! 49 Secrets for Building a Life of Extreme Success “Gently Yet Often Exercise Your Risk Threshold like a Muscle. Eventually It Will Become Stronger and Able to Withstand Greater Pressure.”

Just like Evel starting out with a small ramp, two cars and a few rattlesnakes to jump over, we should all learn from those who embrace fear, then slowly expand their tolerance for risk (higher ramps and more busses) and succeed in life because they chose to do so.

Thank you Evel Knievel for helping me understand that. If you read all the way to the end, thank you for allowing me to share on an unanticipated emotional evening.

Kneivel and West

Before his death, Evel Knievel sued Kanye West and his record company for the use of Knievel’s trademarked image in a popular West music video. He took issue with a 2006 music video for the song “Touch the Sky,” in which the rapper takes on the persona of “Evel Kanyevel” and tries to jump a rocket-powered motorcycle over a canyon.

Evel on his scooter

In addition to hawking Legend Power Scooters, Knievel made somewhat of a marketing comeback in the 1990s, representing Maxim Casino, Little Caesar’s and Harley-Davidson.

Evel Knievel (real name Robert Craig Knievel) used to own a motorcycle dealership in Washington State. After much success as a daredevil performer, he ended up losing several homes and oweing the federal government more than $5M in backtaxes.

Kelly Knievel, Evel’s oldest son, owns a construction firm in Las Vegas. (In 1995, Kelly’s telemarketing company was sued by Missouri for targeting senior citizens with high-pressure calls. He agreed to stop the calls, and the company paid $150,000 in restitution.)

Evel Knievel’s Conversion to Christianity

On April 1, 2007, Knievel announced to a worldwide audience that he “believed in Jesus Christ” for the first time. He professed his personal faith in Christ to more than 4,000 people who gathered inside the Crystal Cathedral for Palm Sunday services in Orange County, California, and to millions via an Hour of Power telecast of the service to over 100 countries.[3]

Knievel told how he had refused for 68 years to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior because he didn’t want to surrender his lifestyle of “the gold and the gambling and the booze and the women.” He explained his conversion experience by saying, “All of a sudden, I just believed in Jesus Christ. I did, I believed in him!”[4] Knievel said he knew people were praying for him, including his daughter’s church, his ex-wife’s church, and the hundreds of people who wrote letters urging him to believe.

Knievel recounted how he “rose up in bed and, I was by myself, and I said, ‘Devil, Devil, you bastard you, get away from me. I cast you out of my life….’ I just got on my knees and prayed that God would put his arms around me and never, ever, ever let me go.”[5] At his request, he was baptized before the congregation and TV cameras by Dr. Robert H. Schuller, Founding Pastor of the Crystal Cathedral. Christianity Today reported that “…Knievel’s testimony triggered mass baptisms at the Crystal Cathedral.”

While I do not have a picture of Evel being baptized, I do have a cool photo of me and a couple of my boys taken at the Crystal Cathedral just a few days after Knievels miraculous conversion. I just had to see the enormous edifice that Pastor Dr. Robert H. Schuller built with all the millions of dollars his television ministry had brought in to his church.

Marlow and Posse at Crystal Cathedral

The Faulty Gospel of Robert Schuller

Another Possible Gospel of Robert Schuller’s