Wednesday, October 29, 2008

FireFly Vodka Gets Competition

Impostor Sweet Tea Vodka Hits Shelves
White Rock Distilleries, Inc is now producing and distributing their version of the hot selling flavor. The company from Lewiston, Maine has named it, "Sweet Carolina." I wonder if they even sell regular Sweet Tea up there. Hmmm.... Guess it doesn't matter.

We'll see if they can contend, or if FireFly can remain THE sweet tea vodka. I'm gonna predict that even though FireFly has been "liquid gold" for many restaurants and liquor stores, it's only a matter of time before one of the big boys (Smirnoff) puts a blend together. When/if this happens, they'll have it on every shelf in the world, in a matter of days.

We'll see if FireFly got their brand out fast enough, or had enough time for it to develop in the mind of the consumer. I just don't know if it's enjoyed enough market time (perhaps like Red Bull), to fend off copycats.

I've tried the "first to market" thing, too. When we were making mailbox flags, we were in a frantic push to be the first to market. There's no telling how far we could have taken the product. We didn't make zillions of dollars or anything, but it was fun to take a new invention/design to market. However, when Jenna and I decided I should get into real estate, I never looked back.

Nevertheless, FireFly has done a great job. They turned a new flavor, into a phenomenon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another King's Grant Home Closed

209 Tombee Lane - Closed
This good lookin' King's Grant home boasts 3,251 sq.ft, 4 beds and 3.1 baths. The kitchen is less than two years old, and features all new cabinets, granite, appliances and a huge island in the middle with a bar for the kids. The entire downstairs floorplan is pretty awesome.

As the master is over the garage, the house has one of the largest master bath (area's) in King's Grant.

Tombee Lane is one of the less traveled "cut through" streets of the neighborhood. All of the lots are "interior," and always desireable.

The final price/ft. ended up being $167.33. We had to act fast on this one. Others are "sitting" on the market, while they watched us sell and close this one quickly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Columbia, S.C. Ranks in Top 25

USC Not Ranked; Columbia Breaks Top 25.

Whether it's in Starbucks, Mr. Friendly's or over email, I'm regularly asked..."How's the market?" I almost always respond (shaking my head slowly, and pulling my hands off of my hips), "We're doing fine. We're doing regular business."

In it's November '08 issue, Smart Money Magazine (a Wall Street Journal Publication) focuses on 25 markets that are doing just fine, or ready to rebound.

The Headline reads; "HOME PRICES: NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS." This is great news for Columbia residents. The chart above points out that our 5 yr. price change is up 27.9%, and that our YTD Price Change is 1.7%. Notice that neither number has a (-) in front of it, nor is either number red in color.

The captions above are hard to decipher, but in the far right it speaks to Columbia's strong points. It reads; "Columbia, SC - Military, state government and university workers mix with an influx of retirees." I've probably blogged about this subject no less than 5 times. I've even received the nice comment, "Boooring." Nevertheless, if you're a seller in today's market, this is good stuff.

I realize that there are tons of FOR SALE signs out there. I also realize many Realtors are getting out of the business, because production is lacking. I also know some Realtors are having banner years, and that I am on pace to close 50 (+/-) homes this year.

Keep it up Columbia. "We don't boom, but we don't bust," is not just a spin job cliche. It's nice to see a national publication hand pick our market, as one that's holding steady.

If anyone at The State Newspaper is reading this, and would like to discuss this positive opportunity, I can be reached at 758.1669 or

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Winner; Joe the Plumber

McCain shifts Joe SixPack, to Hardworking Joe.

In tonights third and final yawner, Senator McCain tried to morph the mental picture of a "Joe SixPack," into a hardworking Joe. It worked. It worked for 'Joe the Plumber,' who is now a household name.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Below is the full conversation between Sen. Obama and the now immortalized 'Joe the Plumber.'

>>Click Here; Joe the Plumber Video in Full
The five minute exchange is worth watching, which is more than I can say for tonights doze'a'thon.

I bet a ba'jillion people clicked tonight, and tried to buy I have to admit, I thought about it. :-)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Clemson Loses; Fans Embarrassed

Clemson Fans Have Pride and Talent; Need Wins Now
Tiger fans are embarrassed. The blogs and chat rooms are going crazy. The status updates on Facebook are hilarious. In short, the latest losses at the hands of Maryland and Wake Forest, have Coach Bowden under serious fire.

I got this Text Message this morning; "Got a call this am. Bowden wants 2 kno if he can rake leaves this wknd. He good at gettn them in a pile but no idea what to do after that."

Well, half of coaching in big time college football is recruiting. Apparently, he's great at it as other coaches can't relate to today's high school athlete. Having said this, Clemson fans are now fed up with the inability to put it all together on game day. Clemson has some of the best talent in the country, but just can't seem to get it done on Saturdays (or Thursday nights). Even "Thunder & Lightning" are now known as "Fizzle and Drizzle."

As I've said before, I think Coach Bowden can do it. He just needs the "Step on their throat" attitude that the Jordan's & Tiger's of the world have. I recognize that he doesn't have THAT kind of killer spirit, but he can at least let his athletes be athletes.

C'mon Coach Bowden. You have real horses up there. Take your pack mule reigns off or your thoroughbred offense, and get hungry. Get the 35 year old fire in the belly again, and smash the rest of the ACC by 35 a game.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Timeless Meter" May Be A Good Idea

Columbia Could Be First in Nation for Pilot Program
When I was walking to my car from Starbucks today, an idea popped into my head. Wonder if it would be a good idea to introduce a "Timeless Meter." Hmmmmm.....

The plan would work sort of like the Forever Stamp at the Post Office; If the city of Columbia would agree to it, a resident could have the option to purchase a license plate from the DMV (or current tag w/ modification) at a rather high cost. If the DMV didn't want to get involved, maybe the city could issue plastic hangers for the rear view mirror, so the meter man can easily identify the participant.

I'm sure there's an equation that makes the venture advantageous to the city. I would think that some users would take full advantage of their investment, and some would almost forget it. The city would "bet" on the latter. It would probably end up being a huge cash cow, much like the warranty system works at Best Buy or Verizon where, half the folks don't mail in the receipts to get their money back. At least, the citizens would have the option.

Anyway, I thought it was a fleeting thought worth mentioning. I'd bet that many of my friends would pay $500./year, to have the parking meter man walk by their car, without breaking a stride.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Walk for Life, Is Sort of a Big Deal

Columbia Shows Up, For A Cure. Pink Everywhere.
You know how you go to a family wedding or funeral, and say to a cousin, "It's funny what brings us together. We only see each other at funerals, or weddings!" Well, the walk is sort of like that. It brings an enormous family together, to celebrate survivors and remember those that have been taken by the disease.

The First Ladies Walk for Life, is really something to see. Thousands from all walks of life, meet at Finlay Park on a fall Saturday morning for a common cause; To find a cure for one of this worlds awful diseases.

If you know me, you know I know breast cancer first hand. If you don't know me, then believe me when I tell you that it absolutely sucks.

It's a good feeling, to see all of these people come to The Walk. Companies, groups of friends, clubs, teams and individuals show up in some sort of pink, to stroll three miles through the streets of downtown Columbia. It's a great symbol.

If you've never done it, you need to. It's a fun way to get together, while reminding ourselves about the terrible disease that takes so many innocent, needed and loved women (and men).

Whoever you walk for, good for you....