Category Archives: Uncategorized

If so, it’s the first good thing I’ve learned about our Vice President

Virtue rewarded

Virtue rewarded

“Tell-All” book reveals, “Joe Biden likes to skinny dip”. That’s a scandal? Good lord.

“Agents say that, whether at the vice president’s residence or at his home in Delaware, Biden has a habit of swimming in his pool nude,” Kessler writes.

“Female Secret Service agents find that offensive.”

Screw’em. I’ve never understood American’s priggishness when it comes to swimming nude. It’s accepted by citizens of other countries: Germany, Scandinavia, even England, for crissake – Churchill used no bathing suit, and at least until the mid-sixties, it was quite common at private (men’s) clubs here in the US.

Why would anyone choose to wear a wet, sandy swim suit that drags in the water and adds misery on shore when they can so easily do without one? You want sex, a string bikini’s for you; it’s sexy by what it hides. For comfort without bother, find a nude beach and get over yourself.

I’m heartened that Biden is so sensible in this respect, at least.

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Required reading

Go away!

Go away!

Glenn Reynolds suggests  “The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch“, but I think you also need the companion piece, Defending Your Castle: Build Catapults, Crossbows, Moats, Bulletproof Shields and More Defensive Devices to Fend Off the Invading Hordes. 

You can’t rebuild the world if your women have been taken and you’re dead.

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The John Fund, update

As of this writing, we’re at $42,573, which is huge, and the entire family thanks you from the deepest recesses of our hearts (and I’d join them too, if I had one). I’ve put a link to the fund up above because several people have asked family members how to contribute, and it’d be obnoxious for me to keep plastering the appeal in your faces.

But we do thank you, all, again.

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Pending sale

 

35 Mead Avenue

35 Mead Avenue

35 Mead Avenue, Cos Cob. Great old 1855 home, but it lost its charm during its centennial when the thruway went up in 1955. Sold for $890,000 in 2001, it’s been asking $1.099 this time.

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Shorelands bobs back up

19 Grimes Rd

19 Grimes Rd

After being pretty well hammered by buyers’ reaction to hurricanes Irene and Sandy, the market for Shorelands properties seems to have recovered. The latest sale there is 19 Grimes Road, a pretty, smallish (2,500 sq.ft.) home, for $2.025 million, on a $2.5 million ask. The house last sold in 2000, for $1.495 million on an initial asking price back then of $1.850. Reaching too high is not a new phenomenon in Greenwich real estate.

AE flood zone, but if it closed, a bank must have been satisfied its security is in no danger of floating away. Shorelands has always flooded, by the way, and the people there learn to live with it – it’s a great neighborhood, and if you lose a furnace every decade or so, that’s the price you pay.

(Actually, if you look closely, you’ll see a new foundation – someone must have jacked this house up in the past)

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 4.20.10 PM

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96 Husted – no harm, no foul

 

96 Husted (contrails courtesy of People's Express and Westchester Airport)

96 Husted (contrails courtesy of People’s Express and Westchester Airport)

96 Husted Lane, which sold new in 2006 for $7.350 million in 2006 and for just $5.650 in 2011 after a relocation company took the hit, has resold for $6.325 million. Depending on how much the 2011  “renovations” claimed in the listing cost, there probably wasn’t a huge gain here after transaction costs.

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One investment for Barton Biggs that didn’t turn out so well

11 Chieftans Rd

11 Chieftans Rd

The estate of the late Wall Street analyst sold his home at 11 Chieftans for $2.550 million; he paid $4.650 for it in 2003. The Chieftans development is shaping up to be the most expensive flop in recent Greenwich real estate.

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Opie returns to Mayberry

70 Oneida Drive

70 Oneida Drive

Looks like he bought 70 Oneida Drive today, for $10.950 million, full price of the Joe Barbeiri listing of last year. Nice digs.

view Two

view

Kitchen

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 3.56.21 PM

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The advantages – and disadvantages of Zillow

187 Stanwich Rd

187 Stanwich Rd

Zillow maintains a foreclosure and pre-foreclosure list of properties headed back to their lenders, and it can be useful for seeing what’s available.

On the other hand, you have to be careful not to rely exclusively on their data, or you can be misinformed.

Take, for instance, 187 Stanwich Road, scheduled to be sold at auction tomorrow. Zillow gets the last sale price right: $2.615 million, in 2007, but then describes it as a one bedroom cottage with “a good rental history”. In case that strikes you as odd, it is; Zillow’s confused the guest cottage with the restored, 1800 main house.

It doesn’t matter, really, because between the amount owed on the mortgage and the numerous state and federal tax liens, which come ahead even of the mortgage, there’s no bargain to be had here. The point is, don’t take what you find on Zillow as the gospel truth – sometimes it is, sometimes not.

187 Stanwich Rd, per Zillow

187 Stanwich Rd, per Zillow

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The advantages – and disadvantages of discount flights

"Flight 73, now boarding"

“Flight 73, now boarding”

You meet the most unexpected people on board.

Woman demands cigarettes and a parachute in order to deplane, throws her artificial leg at attendant when refused.

Pilots were forced to divert a plane after a drunk passenger threw her prosthetic leg at members of the cabin crew.

After her demands for ‘cigarettes and a parachute’ were denied by stewards, the  48-year-old took off the false limb and hurled it at them in a fit of rage. The crew managed to restrain her, but Thomson Flight 297 from Enfidha, Tunisia, to Edinburgh had to be diverted to Gatwick, where it made an emergency landing.

A Thomson Airways spokesman apologised for the diversion – a ‘last resort’ by the plane’s captain – and said it had a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to disruptive behaviour on flights.

That’s a relief.

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The delicious irony here is that it happened at a school for language

 

Ewe can lead a hoarse to water, but a pencil must be lead

Ewe can lead a hoarse to water, but a pencil must be lead

Teacher fired after explaining homophones to students because his boss thought he was “promoting homosexuality”.

A blogger for a school in Utah has lost his job after he wrote a post explaining what a homophone is and his boss accused him of promoting a gay agenda.

Until his recent dismissal, Tim Torkildson worked as a social media strategist for the Nomen Global Language Center in Provo, a private language school which aims to help students with their English.

One of Torkildon’s tasks was writing about the English language and his last post had focused on explaining what homophones are.

When Torkildson’s boss, and the school’s owner, Clarke Woodger read the article he called him into his office and told him he was fired.

‘Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality,’ Woodger complained, according to Torkildson, who posted their exchange on his blog.

Hay, yew never no.

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Whaddya wanna bet that he’d be the first one calling for a private jet to carry him home?

The two US aid workers with Ebola are being flown to Atlanta for treatment and The Donald is upset. The facility where the two are going to be taken is especially designed for exactly this sort of thing, and there seems to me to  be less risk from repatriating two sick citizens than allowing international flights to land on our shores to visit, say, our casinos.

trump

 

 

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Well yes, she’s an idiot, but is Debby Wasserman Schultz feeling the heat from her Democratic Jewish base?

 

The brains behind the Democrats

The brains behind the Democrats

The Democratic Party Chairman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, goes after Obama for not working his job.

President Obama does his job less often than any commander-in-chief since Grover Cleveland, who held the office in the 19th century.

That’s according to Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was interviewed on MSNBC Wednesday ahead of a Republican-backed measure to sue Obama for overstepping his executive authority, especially in his unilateral actions to implement Obamacare.

But in the interview, Wasserman Schultz, a U.S. congresswoman from Florida, inadvertently agreed with a complaint levied most often by Republicans that Obama has not put much effort into his job.

“I’m going to go to the House floor and actually debate why we shouldn’t be voting for the first time in American history to sue the president of the United States for doing his job, and doing his job actually less often and at a rate that is lower than any other president since Grover Cleveland,” said Wasserman Schultz, while fingering Republicans who she claims “refuse to do anything.”

Assuming that Wasserman wasn’t just running off at her mouth – and she could well have been; she’s the Joe Biden of female Democrats, there must be a reason for her dissing her president. The only reason I can come up with is that Obama’s siding with Hamas over Israel has infuriated the big money donors of the party, and this is her way of reassuring them.

Or something – you figure it out.

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From flame thrower to chain whip, I want at least one of each

 

It's the Evil GAR Princess!

It’s the Evil GAR Princess!

Ten weapons you won’t believe are legal”. The editors of the Financial Times may be incredulous, the soft little Brits, but to me, they’re what every red blooded American boy or girl should have in their home.

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Change comes to Fondle My Paloma

 

 

An unfortunate wall accessory

An unfortunate wall accessory

“The Little Pub” will be opening in August at the site of the former Mexican restaurant. From its pictures (ignore the dreadful one I chose, and the fake barn beams) and description, it sounds like a winner, but I was amused at this bit of naiveté expressed by Greenwich Chamber of Commerce director Marcia O’ Kane: “If Little Pub delivers the same casual dining and pub experience that Fonda La Paloma did, it should be a success.”

I hate to break it to Ms. O’Kane, but local lore has it that Fonda La Paloma stayed in business over the decades while serving execrable food with rude service because it was a regional drug distribution center – the restaurant served as a laundry, not a dining spot.

That’s just the local rumor, of course. I personally never went back after a memorable, but horrific dining experience there in 1971 or so but like many in town, I wondered at its longevity, and the legend explains that mystery, accurately or not.

In any event, another casual dining spot in Cos Cob should do fine, especially if it really serves food.

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She may have a certificate in fung shui, but these buyers would have been better off with an agent who understood real estate

Fungi specialist and real estate advisor

Fungi specialist and real estate advisor

The requested variance to build a house at 610 Lake Avenue, which I mentioned yesterday, was denied by the Zoning Board of Appeals last night.

In my experience, something will eventually be built here, almost certainly a structure that will offend the objecting neighbor more than the current plan, because first attempts in these sort of cases are usually designed to minimize any intrusion on neighbors’ sight lines and that, of course, is no longer a consideration once a variance is denied – the next house plan will be designed specifically to avoid the need for a variance, the neighbor’s wishes be damned. I’ve seen that happen, again and again.

I myself warned off two protective buyers from considering this site precisely because of the complexity of attempting to replace the dilapidated structure that stands there now.Neighbors always object to change of any kind, and any sort of reasonable house to be built here was going to require a variance and thus be at the mercy of third parties.

The poor land owners here didn’t receive the benefit of my advice because, perhaps because they are Chinese, they chose a Realtor who claims to be a certified Feng Shui expert. That will come in handy when it’s time to choose a color for the front door and the placement of windows, but is absolutely useless in building a structure in which to hang those things in the first place.

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Here’s a bargain

212 Old Mill Road, 5 1/2 acres, has had a troubled past. Purchased for $2.6 million in 2006, the owners got wetlands approval for a new house and septic to replace the existing (quite livable) building already on it, then encountered financial difficulties and put it back up for sale in  2008 for $3.299. That didn’t work and a few price cuts later, foreclosure began, bankruptcy followed, and so forth.

Long story short, today the owners’ new lawyers have filed an appearance with the court, together with a flurry of motions to set aside judgements and so forth, and relisted the property for $1.550 million. I can’t link to the GMLS listing yet, hence the old Zillow listing above (if you ask nicely, I can email you the info via GMLS’s “client” mode) , but 5+acres, even with some wetlands, on Old Mill Rd, is a good deal.

 

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Open house report

 

18 Hidden Brook

18 Hidden Brook

18 Hidden Brook, Riverside, came out very well indeed. Smallish, and a small yard, but Hidden Brook, from a traffic sense, comes from nowhere and goes nowhere, so it’s a very quiet street. The finish work inside is top quality: performed by Doran Sabag under the watchful eye of Jim Hoffman* and, all in all, a very pleasant house. Excellent renovation and for this location in Riverside, $2.395 isn’t unreasonable.

*You must have left for lunch while Doran was painting, Jim, because the skylight trim in the studio bathroom was left in its primer undercoat. Send him back.

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There’s a couple in W. Virginia who could have spared them from this cultural faux pas

 

Barbie and Ken do the Commonwealth Games

Barbie and Ken do the Commonwealth Games

Malaysians insulted by presence of Scottie Dogs in Commonwealth Games opening parade.

Malaysian politicians are barking mad about the Scottish terriers that pranced through the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Dogs are considered unclean in some Islamic cultures, which means their presence at the games vexed some Muslims.

Mohamad Sabu, of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, said that Malaysia and all the other Islamic countries of the Commonwealth deserved an apology.

“This is just so disrespectful to Malaysia and Muslims — especially as it happened during Ramadan,” Sabu told The Telegraph. “ Muslims are not allowed to touch dogs, so the organizer should have been more aware and sensitive on this issue.”

“It is hoped this incident can teach other Western countries to be more respectful in the future,” he added.

Dominatrix Barbara Jean “B.J.” Geardello and her slave, Robert Deyell would surely have been delighted to march in the parade in the place of the Scottie designated “Malaysia”. “Robert would do it on all fours, on a leash, but he couldn’t wear no banner,” BJ told FWIW, “it might hide his nakedness, and that’s no fun.”

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When Darwinism fails

 

Aw, Christians for dinner AGAIN?!

Aw, Christians for dinner AGAIN?!

Michigan woman plans on suing zoo for not doing enough to prevent her from sticking her finger into lion cage, where she received only a quick manicure, instead of her just deserts.

“They should have done more to prevent me from petting it”, says local cretin Renae  Ferguson.

Warning signs, fencing and indeed, the very nature of the beast itself weren’t sufficient to stop her – I suggest the zoo administer IQ tests to visitors before allowing them on the grounds.

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