Daily Archives: October 15, 2009

Oh, the humanity!

Wisconsin now requires a prescription to buy a mercury thermometer.(hat tip, Overlawyered.com). In fairness to the Cheeseheads, it should be remembered that here in Greenwich, land of the intelligent, Eastern Junior High was shut down for a day while haz-mat drones cleaned up the wreckage of a single thermometer dropped in the science lab. Truly we are become a nation of fools.

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What will Greenwich be without Episcopalians?

We’ll soon find out, I guess. Christ Church attendance has dropped by half in the past decade, St. Saviors in Old Greenwich by two thirds. I have no dog in this fight – the Episcopalians left me decades ago and went to Unitarianism or something approaching it – at their last conference this summer they voted down a resolution that would have recognized 

“their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in the United States multi-faith society, and offer examples and commendations of good practice in sharing the gospel of salvation through Christ alone with people of other faiths and of none.”

“The Evangelism Committee objected strongly to the resolution and said they thought it was the language of proselytism and exclusivism and they objected to any talk of Christianity superseding Judaism.” Whoo boy.

I’m more of a Taoist than a Christian these days, and if the Episcopalians want to abandon proselytizing well fine, although I do seem to recall something about that being the mission Christ defined for his followers. But it’s hard to imagine Greenwich without its blue blood Episcopalians, what with their Kent School and Yale bumper stickers, martinis and dyed-blonde wives. Sure, we’ve always had the mackerel-snappers and we seem to have overcome our shameful history of discrimination and now host a vibrant Jewish community, but no Episcopalians? What on earth is this town coming to?

 


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I was hoping this was the case

Balloon Boy found alive at neighbor’s house. There was quite the hoopla today when a six-year-old boy was thought to be in his parents’ hot air balloon that broke free of its tether and soared off for a cruise. When the balloon finally landed there was n0 one inside and people feared the worst. But when I heard that the only evidence the kid was ever in the basket was his slightly older brother’s claim that he’d seen him there, I thought of my own family’s tale and relaxed, a little bit.

The Fountain boys grew up on Gilliam Lane, at the end of which was a tidal pond. My younger brother Anthony disappeared one afternoon when he was, I suppose, about three, and naturally his mother immediately concluded that he’d wandered down the lane to throw himself into deep waters. The police were called, they brought in the fire department, and the entire neighborhood was scoured by one team of volunteers while others dragged the pond. All the excitement finally ended when Anthony woke up and crawled out from under the dining room table where he’d retreated for his nap.

The Colorado balloon boy apparently took a similar route, but went next door. Happy ending.

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Kiss of the spider woman

9 Lauder Way

9 Lauder Way

Usually, by the time Greenwich Time’s Susan Nova takes pity on a home owner and writes about his house for sale, it’s been languishing so long that even the owner has forgotten it’s on the market. This Lauder Way story is no exception. It has been for sale, on or off, at least since 1995, starting at $4.5 million, dropping into the $3s and, after some renovations, returning to the market at $7.250 in 2007. In the years since its only dropped to $6.5 million (assessment is $3.6) so obviously, these are not people in a hurry to move.

It’s a lovely house and Nova captures its long history beautifully, but I particularly liked this portion of the story detailing one of the son’s sailing habits; reminds me of my own days in New Haven (that’s  joke, GG)  and the pain I felt when my classmates chided me for my extravagance. Ah, the lonliness of the misunderstood genius!

An avid sailor, George Jr. kept his boat “Endymion,” a 136-foot black schooner together with its 20-man crew, in New Haven during the weekdays when he attended Yale. On the weekends, they all returned to Greenwich.

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We return to waiting until you hit us first

Obama and his new crowd are set to revoke Bush’s preemptive strike policy, meaning U.S. citizens will die but will do so bathed in the warm glow of the world’s approval. And that’s priceless.

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No one’s gonna steal this house!

42 Lockwood Avenue in Old Greenwich, an old house on a busy street, failed to sell earlier this year when it was priced at $2.495, and continued to fail to find a buyer through August, despite eventually dropping to $1.999. So it’s back on today, demanding $2.275.

10 Sherwood Avenue, on the other hand, has sold. Three acres off Riversville and close to (right next to) the Merritt, it asked $1.350 million and got $870,000. Assessed value is $930,000.

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As I was saying …

The numbers are out on The One’s Stimulus Program and, while the White House is happy, taxpayers may not be so pleased. You will recall that the Messiah was going to create 3.5 million jobs out of our largess. That was never going to work so he changed his goal to “creating or saving” 3.5 million jobs – prove I didn’t save a job!

But even that watered down definition hasn’t helped. We have allocated $16 billion for this task (billions more are pledged but not yet run off the printing press) and have actually spent $2.2 billion, to “create or save”, the White House says, 30,383 jobs. That means each job costs us $72,409. To reach Obama’s goal will cost $253,400,000,000. You may think that we have lost our friggin’ minds and you’d be right, but remember, it’s not important that these programs work – we’ve spent a couple of hundred trillion in “the War on Poverty” since Lyndon Johnson fired the first gun all without, to hear liberals describe it anyway, putting even the smallest dent in the ranks of the poor.

But people will believe the most errant nonsense when they want to believe it, so the stimulus will continue. As well as free health care for all.

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The very smartest men on earth

Goldman underperforms index funds. Hey – just saying …

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Bogus Baucus Baloney

Forbes looks at Senator Baucus’s ObamaKare numbers and say’s they’re completely, hopelessly wrong. Of course they are- everyone knows this (except, perhaps, Senator Baucus himself – a friend of mine who used to report on his doings in Montana says the entire press corp considered him the dumbest politician in the country) but no one cares. Again, it’s not about saving money, it’s about centralizing the economy. Anyone who says different is lying.

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Go for it, guys!

Ralph Lauren goes after BoingBoing Blog for photoshopping a picture of the fat broad he fired for not fitting into his jeans. He claimed copyright infringement, they told him to pound sand. I know exactly how they feel.

Do these jeans make me look fat?

Do these jeans make me look fat?

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We’re back, amid stirrings of life

147 Hendrie Avenue

This new construction in Riverside (147 Hendrie Avenue, near Binney Park) is reported under contract today. Last price was $3.475 which, while not appealling to me, was a far sight better than its first price of $4.250. Buyers, watch out for this kind of situation – just because you can get a house for a million less than its first asking price doesn’t necessarily mean you’re saving a million. But a very well built house by York Construction, so all ‘s well that ends well and all that. 

148 Lockwood Road, also in Riverside, is reported sold today for $1.3 million. This was a great house, beautifully renovated, and a bargain. My own clients wanted it but couldn’t stretch quite this far. But the trouble is, having seen what $1.3 can provide, it makes other houses in the $1.5 and $1.6 range look hopelessly over-priced. Which they are, of course, but try telling their owners that. 

And finally, we have a new listing at 305 Shore Road in Greenwich, asking $2.375. Not a crazy price for one acre that’s appraised at $1.7, but unless you really must live on the “Belle Haven Peninsula” (meaning not in Belle Haven proper), I think there are other building sites for less, without the thruway noise and the view of the sewer plant. Your choice, of course.

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Why no real estate news?

Because there isn’t any -not in Greenwich, anyway. A couple of desultory price drops, almost as though their owners have quite hoping, a few “new” listings that are just retreads brought back for another round and, that’s it (we here at Fudrucker & Fontanski have two excellent below-market contracts to report once a few contingencies expire; stay tuned). It’s possible that the Board is too busy attending to Broker Open House Thursday to post new developments but I suspect that is not the case. I will, however, check in later and see if something’s happening.

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Business as usual

The Washington Times reports today on our grasping politicians (Dodd and Lieberman among them) helping themselves to money budgeted for the armed forces. That’s old hat, of course, but here’s a new twist to the same story: Alternative Energy research funds are being diverted to museums, housing and the usual grab bag of Congressional lard. Again (and again, and again): global warming is not about polar bears – it is merely a pretext to steal more money from us under the guise of acting during an “emergency”.

10,000 UN and government bureucrats (plus Barbara Streisand and Owl Gore) don’t jet to Bali for a global warming conference because they’re concerned about sea levels. Get it?

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Who’d have ever imagined?

Firms used prostitutes to woo banking clients. Eliot Spitzer vows to investigate, says this just another example of the corruption endemic to the world’s financial system

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The religion of peace and tolerance

gay iranian execution, mashad, july 2005Iran rids the world of two sodomites. Presumably the prison guards raping prisoners are off the hook because they’re doing it in the name of Allah, blessed be his name.

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Worst news for air travellers since 9/11

You will remember that after Richard Petty (some Dick, anyway) tried blowing up an airline with a shoe bomb everyone: infants, old ladies and us cattle in between, has been forced to remove our shoes at airport security checks. Now I learn that while I was away a suicide bomber tried blowing up a Saudi with a bomb hidden in his (the terrorist’s) anal cavity. I can only imagine what the security checks are going to look like six months from now; Barney Frank has already promised to probe into the matter, and that’s exactly what I fear.

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Greenwich Dems raise $3,179,256.14 in campaign donations to Republicans’ $1.79

That’s a big difference, but the Republicans profess to be unconcerned. “It’s all about getting people to the polls,” First Selectman candidate Peter Tesei told FWIW’s Scusie yesterday. “Our people have private transportation, the Democrats have to depend on public. And you should see the road work we’ve got scheduled for Election Day on those bus routes. And,” here he paused to close his eyes and fold his hands in gratitude, “we’ve worked out a deal with Mark Curtis and Splash – free detailing for every Beemer, Audi and Benz owner who brings in an ‘I voted today’ sticker. We’ve got it made in the shade, baby.”

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Bernake: what’s good for Wall Street is good for the country

Well, maybe. NPR interviewed a WSJ reporter this morning (transcript will be posted here by 9:00 a.m.) and he pointed out that JP Morgan and its big-bank peers are making their astonishing profits not from traditional banking activities like lending money out (Morgan says its lending side is running a loss) but from trading securities. Hmmm. So we front them billions via TARP and they go off to the casino to try their luck. I remember being exercised awhile ago when I learned that old folks on Social Security were not spending my taxes on cat food and Fixadent but busing off to Foxwoods and playing the slots. Given the scope of the rip-off here, I’d feel better if we increased Granny’s dole and cut the “banks” off entirely.

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Democrats now represent the richest regions

A reversal from the past, when well-educated wealthy people chose Republicans to protect their interests.  I see this as the natural result of the education system that has been run by tweedy liberals for the past forty or fifty years and twisting impressionable minds. Well see now whether “well-educated” automatically precludes intelligence, as their new representatives raise their taxes and otherwise screw up their lives.

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