Daily Archives: May 24, 2009

Gee, you’d think that in LA, it’d be good for business

Los Angeles real estate agents sue CBS for a CSI plot depicting them as sex deviants. Reached for comment Melinda “Call me Mindy” Tamkin, one half of the husband/wife real estate partnership, “The Tamkins” was still fuming. “Our phones were tied up for months,” she complained. “Every pervert in the country was calling, looking for S&M, animal acts, all that crap which we don’t do any more, not that we ever did, you understand. Worst caller? Someone out your way, “Dido Dent – you know him? Complete loser, believe me. The picture he sent, you need a magnifying glass to see ….”

Mandy then hung up, explaining that she had a buyer interested in the Sharon Tate home.

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I won’t be baited!

One year to live!

One year to live!

In a pathetic attempt to divert my attention from his own malfeasance, Walter Noel has gratuitously added the name “Bucky” to an otherwise legitimate comment about Red Sox great Ted Williams and his service to our country. Well Walt, I have news for you – Bucky Dent died before 1978 and never played against the Red Sox. It just didn’t happen, and here’s proof! Suck on that, big guy.

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Here’s a nice scam

This “article” showed up on my computer, purporting to be an investigative report on a work-at-home program for the fictional “Miami Gazette News”. It seemed surprisingly positive and, when I wondered how a legitimate reporter could possibly be so easily taken in, I noticed the fine print admitting that it was an “article advertisement” , a hybrid I’m unfamiliar with. Still, I was impressed by its superficial legitimacy. Crooks – they’re just so darn creative!

UPDATE: The ad comes complete with a half-dozen phony “comments”, all praising the product, and then this sad news:

Comments Closed Due To Abusive Spam (back soon)

UPDATE II – Who knew? This is a wide-spread scam.

 

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Don’t try this at (your parent’s) home

A British lad has been convicted of forging Mum and Dad’s signatures, refinancing their house and blowing the proceeds on clothing and other necessities of the good life. His mum, naturally, says he’s a good boy, with just a streak of wildness in him.

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There’s nothing like a tactful Slovack!

No, the clouds don't make you look fat

No, the clouds don't make you look fat

From today’s Washington Post comes this travel feature:

Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, has survived the Romans, Napoleon, and the Soviets. And its charm is still in tact.

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About this Obama Health Care reform

As posted earlier, this coming D Day, June 6th, we’re all supposed to crowd into our neighbors’ living rooms and cheer on the new health care plan of the One’s, with details to be supplied on an as-need basis. You don’t have the need to know, if you’re wondering.

And why do we need nationalized health care? Because we’re going broke without it. Fair enough, but here’s an interesting question posed by Megan McCardle in Atlantic, as brought to my attention by my blogger friend, Minnesota Peg: How does giving away more of something save money?

Any cost savings you want to wring out of Medicare can be wrung out of Medicare right now:  the program is large and powerful enough, and costly enough, that they are worth doing without adding a single new person to the mix.  Conversely, if there is some political or institutional barrier which is preventing you from controlling Medicare cost inflation, than that barrier probably is not going away merely because the program covers more people.  Indeed, to the extent that seniors themselves are the people blocking change (as they often are), adding more users makes it harder, not easier, to get things done.

There is no (good) answer to this, but that doesn’t matter to the pixie dust crowd – if the intention is good – and who doesn’t like free things? – then practical matters needn’t concern them. We haven’t stopped waste and fraud in Medicare because – well, because! – but it will all be different when we increase the recipients ten-fold and Obama! The Man! The One! takes charge. He’ll tell us later how it’s going to work, but we don’t really care – we’re placing our lives and our trust in the Messiah and those fine friends of his like Teddy Kennedy. What could possibly go wrong?

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Talk about believing in pixie dust!

I’m working with a young family that is interested in buying in Riverside (okay, they thought they were looking for Old Greenwich until they encountered this Riverside chauvinist, but heck). So I’ve been prowling our multi-list, seeing what’s still available and pulling up past sales histories so as to get a feel for what’s a good negotiable price. There are some decent deals available, but I was surprised to discover several homes priced as though this were 2015 and the Obama stimulus had been a huge success. I mean for instance, there’s one house priced at almost $3 million, which seems steep on its face but when I checked to see its history I learned that the owners bought it in 1997 for $1.1 million and have done nothing to it since (assuming the listing sheet is accurate). How do you figure a house’s condition has improved with twelve year’s use? Land values increased, of course, but as the building’s value depreciated, did the land it sits on triple in value? I think not.

So that house is off my list, as well as a number of others withsimilar delusions of grandeur. Readers occasionally ask why no one shows their house and “makes me an offer” and here’s a perfect example. There are at least a half – dozen houses I can show this couple that are in good locations with realistic prices indicating serious sellers, and another six or so that look as though they might be susceptible to a reasonable bid. Somewhere in that dozen, there’s a houseto be bought. Why waste time with the ones on the fringe? This is a market where time is on the buyers, not the seller’s side, and if those dreamy sellers ever wake up, we’ll have another batch of buyers ready to take a look at their now year-older house.

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The demise of Western Civ, and we’re cheering it!

Interesting perspective here about what, exactly, our country is signing itself up for with our CO2 legislation:

The long term goal with cap and trade is “80 by 50” – an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Let’s do the easy math on what “80 by 50” means to you, using Utah as an example. Utah’s carbon footprint today is about 66 MM tons of CO2 per year. Utah’s population today is 2.6 MM. You divide those two numbers, and the average Utahan today has a carbon footprint of about 25 tons of CO2 per year. An 80% reduction in Utah’s carbon footprint by 2050 implies a reduction from 66 MM tons today to about 13 MM tons per year by 2050. But Utah’s population is growing at over 2% per year, so by 2050 there will be about 6 MM people living in this state. 13 MM tons divided by 6 MM people = 2.2 tons per person per year. Under “80 by 50″‟ by the time you folks reach my age you’ll have to live your lives with an annual carbon allowance of no more than 2.2 tons of CO2 per year.

Question: when was the last time Utah’s carbon footprint was as low as 2.2 tons per person per year? Answer: probably not since Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers first entered the Salt Lake Valley (1847).

You reach a similar conclusion when you do the math on “80 by 50″‟ for the entire U.S. “80 by 50″‟ would require a reduction in America’s CO2 emissions from about 20 tons per person per year today, to about 2 tons per person per year in 2050. When was the last time America‟s carbon footprint was as low as 2 tons per person per year? Probably not since the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620.

In short, “80 by 50” means that by the time you folks reach my age, you won’t be allowed to use anything made with – or made possible by – fossil fuels.

So I want to focus you on this critical question: “How on God’s green earth – pun intended – are you going to do what my generation said we’d do but didn’t – and that’s wean yourselves from fossil fuels in just four decades?” That’s a question that each of you, and indeed, all Americans need to ask now – because when it comes to “how” there clearly is no consensus. Simply put, with today’s energy technologies, we can’t get there from here.

So the plan is to reduce us to a subsistence level in about forty years. You say you want a revolution? Now is the time.

To be fair, there are two, separate groups who want this result: the “man is wicked and the sooner he dies off the better” crowd, and the “pixie dust and magical thinking can accomplish the impossible” set, who at least don’t actively wish the species ill. But magic doesn’t work, whereas cold hard consequences do happen, so my money, or my bartered chicken, come 2050, is with the first bunch. They know what they want and don’t need magic to achieve it, just a blind mob, and boy do we have that!

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Hunting tips for Greenwich nimrods

Two Greenwich men went ahunting in the woods and while one perched behind his wild turkey decoy the other snuck up and blasted him. They’re both okay – no word on the fate of the decoy – so no harm, no fowl, so to speak, but gee, fellas, be careful out there. Unlike most forms of hunting American game, turkeys are hunted in camouflage, without benefit of blaze orange, due to the quarry’s keen eyesight. So I thought I could help out here, as follows:

This

This

Not This

Not This

You may want to clip these and keep them in your hunting vest for quick reference.

 

And never this!

And never this!

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