Times are tough. Not for everyone all the time. There is a proverb that claims it rains on the just and unjust alike. Most proverbs reference a farmer’s point of view, so I believe “rain” is a good thing, it’s what you want, it’s pennies from heaven.
At times when very little rain comes my way, I like to dream. I dream big. Hard work pays off, I retire, can afford a nice house. Nice by MY standards, of course, because it’s my dream.
One of my dreams goes like this: I see myself in a large house, with a flower garden. My family is there, my two cats and one friendly, soft-eared black Spaniel, or King Charles (can’t decide) is resting near me as I dead-head the Geranium and Petunias planted along the bed’s border. The sun is shining and there is a cool breeze. Birds play in the branches. Dinner will be ready soon; there is laughter, music and great fragrance of a home cooked meal. All kind of art hangs my on walls, interesting, exciting pieces collected from my world travels. Shoes gather around the front door, as the house fills, comfortably, with friends, family, smiles and laughter.
I’m saying “Thank You” and “I love you” sharing the riches of my hard work with those I love. —Hard work? Yes. Unless I win the lotto, this dream can only come true by working hard, working smarter, hopefully doing something that I love.
And so when times are down, I look and see what is for sale on-line. I search the Windermere Real Estate map, zoom to a favorite neighborhood, select price “highest to lowest”, then “Enter”. The house-porn party has started!
I look for a four to six bedroom, with an art studio, den, and a place for a pool table, modern kitchen and baths, a REAL laundry room, closet space galore, and at least one large fireplace, stacked rock, river rock or granite preferred. I need room enough for my son, daughter, mother, my brother and his family to visit, a bed for everyone! A house with a water or mountain view, a fenced yard, among a nice “walking” neighborhood, near a grocery store, quick access to the main roads and a park. That’s all I want. Simple. The perfect house.
I wonder sometimes if my need to view million dollar homes at 3 in the morning is bad; if it gives me false hope. If I set the bar too high.
The average cost for a home in my city is around $267,000, estimated median household income in 2012: $41,718*. Dreaming of owning a million dollar plus home is reaching for the sky! So, is it bad for me to look? Bad to dream? I don’t think so.
Let me share a story with you.
Back in the early 00’s I worked for the largest cable company in Western Washington. Comcast Cable has customers in the millions, from Blaine to Gray’s Harbor, North Bend to Forks. One of the ideas they were playing with was home-specific advertising.
This is a common concept for internet advertising today, 12 years later. To see user-specific advertising in action compare the ads on your Facebook page with that of a friend, son or daughter, or your mother. They WILL be different.
For cable television it’s a bit different. Cable boxes have the capacity to not only deliver the package you paid for, but to retrieve information. All the buttons you push turn into data, it is collected and analyzed. Cable and satellite companies, unlike their broadcasting cousins, know exactly how many boxes watch what channel, what show, when and where. So with this data, for a brief time, experiments were done on box or home specific advertising.
Based on your personal data it is determined that you could afford a Mercedes Benz, local Mercedes Benz lots would send their ads to your cable box, inserted onto the channels you watch, potentially saving MB money by targeting the “right kind” of client.
If your credit card data showed that you ordered pizza delivery more than average, then pizza advertisements for companies near you that deliver, would appear on your TV.
Advertising that reacts to your current habits and buying abilities within the parameters of your demographic. Boring.
Sitting in the beta results meeting, I remember thinking that box-specific advertising was wrong. It was wrong to deny people a “Goldilocks” experience; finding out whats too small, too big or just right for them.
What It Really Means
Dreams are not a demographic, they are more like a fingerprint. A hungry person, on a tight budget, might dream about food, but what do they really need? A Marie Callender Pot Pie? NO! (Well, maybe, those are good!) That person may need a nicer car that starts every morning, to help get a job that pays better, but dreams of going to school to get a better job, a better life.
How much influence does the media have on our dreams? Should we use things as rewards?
Is material attainment symbolic of the journey?
What are YOUR dreams?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” ~Jesse Owens
“All [people] dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous [people], for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” ~T. E. Lawrence
All photos are houses “for sale” as of the date of post from: Windermere Real Estate
The best house-porn site ever.
*Data reference: http://www.city-data.com/city/Bellingham-Washington.html