Housing Crisis – a disaster I reported would happen in 2005

While I was perhaps the only reporter in the Los Angeles market who reported on the imminent decline in the housing market, this is one of a few times I could say I wished I had been wrong.

When everyone else was reporting about the “great housing market,” I did a story that was the exact opposite.. that the housing market was a disaster waiting to happen – and in the end, it ended up being the biggest ponzi scheme out there.

Karen Carlson reporting for KABC

This story was in 2005, when everyone was buying houses they couldn’t afford even before they saw the inside.  I remember going to an open house in Glendale, California, a city next to Burbank, and seeing what could only be described as a pit.  It had window units that were noisy and didn’t really work, filthy pink carpet and a dried out pool in the back.  And, it was $720,000 dollars.  I remember thinking how wrong it was to have to fork out three quarters of a million dollars for a fixer-upper in a so-so neighborhood.  Ugh.

Now, there is a glut of houses on the market, at we all know.  I just hope we’re able to get out of the gold market before we hit $1500 an ounce!

Instead of gifts this year, how about helping sick kids?

Hi all.. for those of you who’ve asked to send a gift.. I ask for something simple this year – please donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Here is the link:

http://www.cff.org/LWC/dsp_DonationPage.cfm?idEvent=14879&idUser=423883

Cystic Fibrosis is a killer for children.. it affects their lungs and digestive system, and treatment can cost up to $10,000.00 a MONTH.  That’s not even for the research.  Think how much of a difference you can make instead of wasting that $10 on a DVD or toy you’re going to throw away… you can help save a life.

CHOPPED SALAD!! A lesson in horrible customer service.

CHOPPED SALAD!!

I often like to blog when I find funny circumstances in public places.  Take for example, my lunch today.
There were four of us at a popular downtown restaurant.  The three women ordered salads.  We were deep in conversation about ways to help with a charity we’re working on when a waitress came by with our food.  She said, “Chopped salad?”

We sat for a second, trying to remember who ordered what.

Before anyone spoke up, she yelled, “CHOPPED SALAD!!” so loudly we all jumped a little.  A friend just grabbed the salad and the waitress slammed down the remaining food on the table.

Needless to say, we were stunned, especially since the three people I was lunching with were all in the hospitality industry and some had worked in the restaurant business for years.

My friend looked at me and joked, “Did we do something to offend her?”

The thing is, this was our first interaction with her, so that really wasn’t possible, and even if it were, what would we have had to do to make her yell at us like that?

One of the other members at the lunch table said he would have fired her on the spot.

Now, despite the delicious food that I’m enjoying as a snack right now, I don’t know that I’d go back there.

I knew it was early, but this is ridiculous.

So when I woke up today, I knew it was likely pretty early, since I still felt slightly groggy.  But, I was probably not going to go back to sleep, so I decided to get up and watch the news.  I figured it was time for Good Morning Utah on my home station of KTVX, which I’m not normally able to see because it’s just so early for a person who normally doesn’t fall asleep until, say, 2am each day.[ad]

Imagine my surprise when I was wide awake at – you guessed it, 2am!  I suppose I can get a lot of work done now that I’m somewhat alert.  Of course, it’ll have to be “indoor” work, since I’m not one for venturing out in the middle of the night.  Besides, the post office won’t open for hours anyway…

Another year, so now what?

I’m trying to figure out what to write about on this New Year’s Day.  The natural assumption is to write about resolutions, but I think “goals” are a better way to go.  I’m going to take a friend’s advice and look at personal, professional and financial.  I’m going to need to sit in my thinking chair for a while.  I’ll get back to you.