Daily Archives: July 28, 2011

Guessing game

House vote on debt ceiling cancelled for tonight. We (EBT Realty) have three solid bids out there on properties whose owners have either refused to respond at all or fired back, in one notable email, that we have our heads up our a***. Well, we’ll see. In one case, the seller is said to have turned down $10 million in early 2008 and is still desperately clinging to the idea that his house is still worth almost that much (he’s lowered his price down to $9). If all hell breaks loose next week, they may regret their stubbornness, like the builder of a spec house in 2007, priced it at $12 million, rejected an offer of $9, dropped it to $9 eventually and rejected an offer of $7 and finally sold it for $4 million, just one step ahead of the foreclosure auction.

Or these guys may all prove to be financial geniuses when the market roars back to 2007 levels. I know where my money is.

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Wag the Dog?

Libyan rebel leader murdered. All hell is breaking loose now, with the various tribes fighting over Libya’s oil wealth. This war is on Barack “Days, not Weeks” Obama, and I wonder what he’s up to? We’re now tangled up with yet another tribal war, but why? Khadafi is a petty dictator, sure, but there are dozens of those and Khadafi appeared to have been pretty much bottled up since Reagan bombed his tent. So why him?

I think the worst thing that happened back in 2002 is when, as I understand it, we had Bin Laden trapped in Tora Bora and let him escape because of State Department and White House interference.We could have killed him, kicked the Taliban’s ass and then gone home, 9/11 avenged. Instead, the geniuses in Washington came up with the idea of a never-ending war, expanded that war to Iraq and a decade later we’re still losing American kids while we attempt fruitlessly to root out a corrupt Afghanistan government and instill a modern society. A’int never gonna happen.

But that brings us back to Libya – why on earth did Obummer engage us in yet another war, what are his goals and more important, what are his motives? Beats me.

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Aw, this doesn’t work without the ability to upload her picture, damnit!

Fat woman with a shaved head and wearing a string bikini denied entry to Walmarts says she “won’t accept an apology”. Apologize? They should have dragged her out to the parking lot and shot her. Check the link for her picture, if you have a strong stomach.

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Chris Shays for Senator?

He’s thinking about it. I usually disagreed with 85% of his positions when he was our Congressman but I always felt he was acting on principle, which ain’t a bad thing. Plus, when he retired after 20 years in Congress, I believe he showed a net worth of something like $100,000. He just might be the only honest man in Washington and that, too is something to admire and wonder at. I’d certainly give him my consideration. As Rumsfeld said, “you don’t go to bed with the wife you’d like to have but ….” or something like that.

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Can the Chinese make safe bullet trains without stealing?

That’s the question posed by Businessinsider regarding the theft of intellectual property from the Japanese. I’d rephrase that to, can the Chinese make anything without stealing? It’s not the Chinese people themselves, of course, but their country is lawless when it comes to intellectual property rights. They just aren’t recognized. It’s possible that China may start producing its own original products and may then want to join the civilized world under a rule of law. Until then, companies are fools to deal with them, regardless of the size of the market.

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Groupon’s a bust

Half their customers won’t use it again. On June 11  I suggested here that Groupon’s founder was a fool to turn down someone’s (Google’s?) huge buy-out offer. I’d tried using it and found it pretty worthless and that was a consumer, not a small business owner who has to pay to participate. I didn’t buy Dunkin Donuts at $47 today and I’m sure not buying Groupon’s pending ipo. I wonder if anyone will?

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No photos this afternoon

WordPress’s software isn’t allowing pictures to be uploaded. Their glitch, not my choice, and I’ve written to their tech support. We’ll be back to being an illustrated blog as soon as possible. In the meantime, if any of you understand what an “IO Error” means, I’d be grateful to learn. Internal operating error? What does one do with that?

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Dumpling Pond bridge reopens

Just this morning, in fact. That would have been last week – I didn’t notice the date. And wasn’t I lucky in my ignorance? I returned from the DMV (license renewal time, sigh) via the Merritt and Den Road and cruised across at around 12 noon, without ever remembering that it’s been closed these past ten days.

Interesting history of the bridge in the Greenwich Patch article I’ve linked to. George Washington is known to have crossed it three times (not mentioned, but true fact, his army camped at the top of Palmer Hill when they were marching from Boston to New York). What did astonish me to learn was that the bridge’s foundation, built in 1688, is still in good shape. They did fine work back then.

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Tremont Group, a Madoff feeder fund, settles for a billion

Of course, that’s just a settlement with Picard, the Madoff Trustee. Walter Noel’s Fairfield Greenwich Group reached a similar agreement but that still leaves plenty of private lawsuits to resolve. I’ll admit to some confusion – I’d thought that feeder fund customers were ineligible to participate in the Picard suit. Perhaps I misunderstood.

UPDATE: here’s a clearer article (from the NY Post, of all places). The settlement says that, in exchange for Tremont kicking in a billion, its customers who lost a total of $3 billion will be allowed in to the Picard recovery.

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Shocker of the day

Time travel not possible, say researchers.

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C’est tellement dommage!

Toxic algae/sludge invades France’s topless beaches. Man-made menace, apparently – nitrate runoff from farms.

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Maybe not stingrays but some whales have been harpooned

Brother Gideon reports that 19 houses priced at $5 million and above have sold or gone to contract in the past three months. Of course, that still leaves 157 houses in that price range in our inventory and I’ll be curious to match the original prices to their eventually selling price but still, there is movement. Looks like we have a 2 1/2 year inventory of these expensive houses and that’s long enough, so no more listings!

What I like to see are contract dates – how many went to contract in the past ninety days? I’ll go look.

(I’m back) Gideon used the same methodology I prefer: all 19 went to contract in the past 90 days. That’s an impressive amount of action.

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Okay, here’s one where I don’t blame the panicked

Swimmers flee NJ waters after spotting a school of 8-10′ stingrays. They thought they were sharks and yes, stingrays are pretty harmless, but geeze, a ten-foot stingray would give me pause, especially if there were a bunch of them. I’d take a time out for a lemonade on shore, I believe.

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Norwegian-American soldier plots to attack Fort Hood.

 

I'm a square head, and I'm okay

A child porn fan, too.

Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody there.

 

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Oops! NASA data debunks Al Gore, United Nations

We’re not trapping warm air. In related news, the scientist who had school children (and childish liberals) convinced that polar bears are drowning has been suspended and is being investigated for fraudulent “research”.

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Corvino defends Greenwich Hospital’s termination of massage therapy

“We’re simply outsourcing it to our local Korean ladies – our male patients will love it”.

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Tear ‘em down

 The latest approach to the glut of foreclosed houses: bulldoze them. There are several huge, failed mega-mansions in Greenwich which will suffer this same fate.

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