Daily Archives: November 28, 2012

Don’t piss on this messiah!

The original messiah? Hey, dude, like, free speech!

EBay removes Glen Beck’s auction item, “Obama in Pee Pee Jar”. 

Christ (II) in piss

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Where were his friends?

Who let Freddy Camillo’s mother dress him for last night’s zoning meeting and why did they allow him to appear in public after she did? (h/t, LK)

It’s not my fault!

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A sale and a price cut that may (should) give high-end sellers pause

35 Andrews Farm Rd

35 Andrews Farm Road, asking $6.999 million, reports an accepted offer – yippee! It’s great to see that big money is still on the prowl, buying large Greenwich mansions, but one’s exuberance might be tempered when you learn that this same property sold for $11.2 million in 2005 and has been on the market since February, 2008, when it was listed for $12.5.

Pool by Sigmund Freud?

And while it has yet to find a buyer, 39 Doubling Road will now accept $3.8 million, after being purchased for $6.250 million in 2007 (12 DOM) and being listed since June, 2010, beginning at $5.999. If memory serves, this house has no garage and no remaining FAR allowance to build one – that may not be correct; I haven’t seen it since it was first listed this go around but if so, that’s a deterrent.

But it’s a lot of house for, say, the mid-threes, and again relying on a possibly faulty memory, there are a couple of rooms in the front that could be converted into a garage without losing real living space. If this is in your price range I certainly wouldn’t rule it out based on what I remember – go see it for yourself. Good location, nice, if narrow yard.

Or, if you like the location but not the house itself, Chip Skowron’s place is just up the road around the corner – might be a deal there.

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To the reader who just expressed an interest in fleeing zoning zealots and moving to Montana, here you go:

Here’s the best, here’s Merle.

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Hence the push for a new world order run by the United Nations

Report: 2/3 of all millionaires flee Britain ahead of tax man. Censoring the Internet, confiscating citizen’s weapons, taxes on first world to redistribute to the third and eliminating tax havens: these are all goals of our regressives and their best vehicle for accomplishing them is the UN. The United Nations, you may recall reading, was sold to America as a forum where sovereign countries could meet and attempt to resolve their disagreements. Its promotors specifically denied that it was to be an independent government superior to or having authority over citizens of free nations and in fact, John Birch types were ridiculed for even suggesting such a possibility. Fifty years on, it’s increasingly apparent that we were fed a bill of goods. British (and American, and French) citizens attempting to keep what they’ve earned will soon discover that there is nowhere to hide, and the sheeple will cheer.

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Now they tell us

Editorial boards at WaPo, USA Today discover that Obama is a campaigner, not a leader.

From the Post: “Since his reelection, Mr. Obama has fueled a campaign-style effort to pressure Republicans to give ground on taxes. That’s fine, but it won’t be enough. At some point, he has to prepare the American people — and his own supporters most of all — for the ‘hard decisions’ required to put the country on a sound financial footing. That means spending cuts, it means entitlement reform, it means compromise, it means a balanced solution that will please neither House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) nor Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Only one person is in a position to make it happen.”

And USA Today:

Democrats, of course, have a political interest in fudging the issue to keep Social Security out of negotiations over the year-end “fiscal cliff” of abrupt tax hikes and spending cuts. “I am not going to be part of having Social Security as part of these talks relating to this deficit,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters this month.

Seriously? How exactly do Democrats expect Republicans to bend on their destructive refusal to raise taxes if Democrats won’t bend on their destructive refusal to trim unsustainable benefit programs?

Social Security represents more than one-fifth of federal spending, much too big to ignore. The likeliest fixes are well known. These include raising the cap on income subject to the payroll tax, tying cost-of-living adjustments more closely to actual inflation, and bumping up the retirement age for able-bodied future retirees. The sooner these changes are made, the less painful they will be.

But shoring up the program starts with politicians telling the truth about how Social Security works. That’s something the White House and congressional Democrats apparently think the public can’t handle.

Can’t handle and can’t understand, as a sure-to-be-forthcoming comment from our own Dollar Bill will illustrate.

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Cos Cob Synagogue decision postponed.

As predicted. I’m told the atmosphere was “vicious’. I’ve received a couple of pretty awful anti-semitic comments that I’ve consigned to the trash bin and I find that discouraging. I’m neutral on this issue – I live in Riverside, the traffic won’t affect me and I have friends who are members of the congregation, so I’ll mind my own business – and I recognize the legitimacy of the neighbors’ concerns about bulk, traffic and, maybe, noise, but I’m disheartened to see that there’s still such hatred present in town. Of course, there’s no reason Greenwich should be different from the rest of the world, but I’d hoped we were a little more evolved than, say, France.

Which is not to say that to oppose the synagogue is to hate Jews – some of the opponents are Jewish themselves and it’s entirely understandable that any neighbor of this development, of any religion, wouldn’t like it, but there’s an ugly substrata in that opposition that should be weeded out. I think I’ll post the next horrible comment I receive, just to expose the hatred. Or not – I’ll make that decision when I come to it, or it comes to me.

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Property Management

I had coffee this morning with Nick Barile and Peter Gow, partners (I think they’re partners) in York Development, which makes fine custom homes here in Greenwich. Joining forces with Peter Gow has allowed the expansion into home renovation projects and now, property management. The latter strikes me as an excellent idea.

Nothing new in the concept, of course, but I’ve been stymied when asked to recommend someone reliable to manage a house when the owner, say, is overseas and renting out his home or an owner-occupier just wants a one-call resource to deal with all the tasks involved in maintaining a house. It’s all very well to get a basic owner’s manual from your building inspector that outlines what should be addressed twice a year – sprinkler system, HVAC, roof gutters, etc.-, what should be looked at once a year and those once-every-five years items like driveway asphalt sealing, painting, and so forth. You know the drill, and it’s a lot to keep up with.

York Residential Management aims to be a one call resource. You pay an annual fee and in return they’ll inspect the home, prepare a maintenance schedule and see that it’s done. They’re the ones who’ll be waiting for the furnace guy to show up, not you, they’re the ones to remember that the roof needs a power washing every five years, etc. If you’re happy with your present service people, no need to change – just like ObamaKare, you can keep your present service – there’s no surcharge for York coordinating their work. If you’re a new homeowner, they can provide people – no mark up- whom they trust.

I represent a couple, first time home owners, who received from their home inspector a 22-item punch list of maintenance items they should pay attention to during their ownership, ranging from minor – grouting and sealing bathroom tiles, for instance, to major – rebuilding a brick stairway entrance that has settled and pulled away from the house. As Nick, Peter and I spoke this morning it occurred to me that my clients would be perfect candidates for this service. What do they know from painters to roofers to masons? I can certainly provide them with names and numbers to call, but do they really want to make all those calls, coordinate the work and then remember to do it all over again next year? Probably not.

As my clients and regular readers of this blog know, I accept no advertising, receive no referral fees from people whose services I recommend and that’s not because of my love for humanity, it’s just good business: if I provide useful, unbiased information to home buyers and owners, they may use my own services. So I’m mentioning Nick Barile and his ventures; building, renovation and now management because I know him to be an excellent builder and reputable person, not because he bought me a coffee this morning (come to think of it, Nick, you stuck me for that buck-eighty). His number is (203)550-3301, York Residential Management, or Nick@yorkdev.com.

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Even a good joke has its limits

Say goodnight, captain

I enjoy a hearty chortle as much as the next man, perhaps more, but the saga of Greenwich harbor master Ian MacMillan  and his battle against Town Hall is wearing thin. His latest of many blow-ups involves the town telling him not to take the town-owned boat out alone in the winter and to stay ashore until spring. 

The town harbor master is crying foul after he was told the town wants to beach his boat for the winter.

Ian MacMillan said he was informed Monday in an e-mail from selectman Dave Theis that the boat — which is owned by the town but provided to MacMillan, a state appointee — should be placed onshore for the winter.

“It is a very difficult turn of events,” a chagrined MacMillan said. “They didn’t consult me on it and they didn’t ask me for my opinion.”

Theis, who said he wrote the email in response to one from MacMillan, said the town’s position is the boat should be on shore.

“For safety and liability reasons, we don’t want him alone out on the water in the winter,” said Theis, who expressed a concern about MacMillan falling overboard with no one around. “We don’t feel it is really necessary for him to be out there all winter by himself.”

I was amused when Greenwich Democrat Chairman Francis Fuddyrucker persuaded his friend the Governor to appoint MacMillan harbor master so as to thwart rival Peter Tesei’s plan to appoint another candidate. Jollity all around – even Fuddyrucker’s second-in-command Bill Gastric almost cracked a wan, tentative smile – and after all, Ian’s a nice guy, the job pays all of six hundred bucks a year and how much trouble can a man get into corralling buoys and scraping barnacles?

The answer remains “none”, but MacMallan is becoming a pest and a distraction, ordering boat parts without authorization and charging them to us taxpayers, mooring the town boat where he sees fit in contravention of his orders, refusing to send mooring bills to boaters until he has mapped out all four harbors in town and in general making a contentious nuisance of himself at selectman meetings. He’s wasting people’s time and doing no good, despite his good intentions.

I’m no fan of Peter Tesei, for no particular reason except the Dr. Fell reaction he provokes in me,* but I sympathize with him on this matter – the man has better, more important things to attend to. Time to pull the plug on this particular entertainment.

* I do not like thee, Dr. Fell,

The reason why I cannot tell.

But this I know and know full well:

I do not like thee, Dr. Fell.

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Raveis sales statistics

Presented without comment, from the William Raveis website (a very useful tool, if you haven’t tried it yet)

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China has hired Greenwich Democrat Bill Gastric as its humor consultant

That’s not funny

China media congratulates North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for being named the Onion’s “Sexiest Man Alive, 2012″

“With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true.”

“Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper’s editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile,” the People’s Daily cited The Onion as saying.

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Hope and chains

You can now enjoy more disposable income while on welfare than if you work all year for $69,000.00. This explains the reelection of Barack Obama by the majority of voters who are on the government teat – self-interest.

Of course, that can only last so long before the wheels fall off but our current politicians and current American spongers will be gone by then, leaving others to suffer from our profligacy.

 

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Shouldn’t bank owned properties be offered at a bargain level rather than above-market price?

 

Swamp Hollow

26 Stag Lane has been foreclosed on by Citi and is now on the market at $3.399 million. What’s up with that? This house was built by (the good) Rick Harris and is a fine piece of craftsmanship but Stag Lane, with its Merritt Parkway exposure, has never been a street that commands high prices and #26 is down a very long, steep, shared driveway – not a draw. After building it in 2005, Rick was fortunate to sell it in 2007 for $4.250 million. Those buyers tried to sell it five months later for $4.795 and failed, despite leaving it on the market until June, 2011 and dropping its price to $3.995.

Now Citi owns it, which is nice for them, but I’m not impressed with their pricing. Foreclosed homes rarely get the loving attention owner-occupied homes do and in addition, buyers know that somewhere in Citi’s books this loan was written down to zero – anything the property division gets for it is found money.

Even if this weren’t a bank owned property it would encounter difficulty achieving anything close to its current asking price. As it is, I know where I’d counsel a client of mine to start bidding, and it’d be a number that did not start with a 3 – in fact, I’d look for a considerable discount from what is being asked. As always, that’s just my opinion, and your’s may, possibly will differ – in which case, be my guest.

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Attention job seekers: the position is still open

U.S. Treasury declines to name China currency manipulator. Get those resumes in.

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