Daily Archives: July 10, 2010

I hate to admit this

I just watched the first half of the Uruguay (I had to Google the spelling and still don’t know where it is – somewhere near Bulgaria, perhaps?) Germany soccer game on Old Greenwich’s Arcadia Coffee House’s big screen and it was very entertaining. Clean play – no rolling on the ground in fake agony, good refereeing and two good goals, one by each side. No flukes (well, the Uruguayan goalie probably should have held on to the ball, but it’s pouring rain and the ball must be incredibly slippery) lots of close calls and a really fun game. One reason (out of many) I never made it off the second bench when I played high school soccer (I’ve confessed here before that I was second bench only because my school wasn’t big enough to field a third bench) is I could never do what these guys do – one player literally kicked the ball backwards over his own head to a teammate downfield. Wow.

By the way, the last time I stopped by Arcadia, the Dutch were playing … somebody, and the place was absolutely jammed with Dutch: parents and children, all wearing orange and all cheering and groaning as the game progressed. Who knew we had so many Dutch expats in Greenwich? Anyway, it was a really fun atmosphere. The Dutch are playing again tomorrow at 1:30. I don’t know if the local wooden shoe folks are planning another get together at Arcadia but you might want to stop by and see and if they are, sticking around awhile. These people really get into the game, and it’s exciting. (And as an aside, the staff at Arcadia are mostly South American, so they greeted Germany’s goal today with dead silence and erupted when Uruguay came back to score – fun stuff).

And here are two questions that bother me: 1, when the ball gets kicked into the stands, does a fan get to keep it or must he throw it back? 2., what’s with all the different colored shoes the players wear? Even on the same team, you see white shoes, orange shoes, white and orange shoes, black, yellow, etc. I wondered at first whether it had to do with the player’s position, but no – so does each player endorse a different shoe manufacturer?  These are the important questions you’d expect the announcers to dwell on but so far, nada. Inquiring minds want to know.

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Well here’s a bit of inventory news

I’ve been in the office checking out houses for a high-end buyer (not everyone is poor, yet). Did you know that we have 127 houses for sale priced between $9.5 and $12.5 million? And 51 above $12.5? I’ll check later for how many of these we’re moving on a yearly basis but if you’re one of those sellers, I wouldn’t schedule the movers for awhile – say, 2015?

UPDATE: here’s something just as pathetic: of those 127, I found ten that I thought were maybe close enough to a reasonable price and in a decent location as to justify consideration. The rest? I wouldn’t dream of wasting my client’s time.

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Anecdotal evidence but ….

I just got off the phone after a lengthy conversation with a hedge fund reader (in fact, the head of a hedge fund) and he’s as bearish as I am, the difference being he actually knows something about the subject. That makes five out five readers or clients of mine in the financial field who are bears. Their predictions range from pessimistic to downright catastrophic, but none sees anything good coming this fall. Including bonuses.

I’m aware that there are optimists out there but if I owned a large, expensive house that I hoped to sell, I’d be courting buyers, not turning them away.

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The good ideas just keep coming – Fountain for State Government

Gibbons: Let's stop monkeying around!

A friend has pointed out that there is an opening for a challenger to Lile Gibbons, representative for the 150th State District. Now, there’s no way I’d drive to Hartford, ever, but a campaign premised on a promise never to set foot in the Capitol might have broad appeal. Nothing good happens there, so I could stay down here and fight the lonely fight to protect Greenwich from the Hartford Marauders. Hell, Gibbons accomplishes nothing with all her commuting, could I do worse from here? Not a  chance – the 180 minutes she spends driving I could spend fighting. And it would fill up some of that free time I’ll have as tax collector.

My motto: “If nominated, I will run. If elected, I shall not serve.” Imagine if our entire Legislature took a similar pledge – Connecticut would be on the road to economic recovery within days.

Apparently I need just 44 signatures to get on the ballot. Just think of the fun we could have at campaign debates!

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I don’t agree with tax payer funds being spent on political campaigns either but …

I agree with Gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley that my tax money should not be given, without my consent, to a politician I may completely disagree with, but there’s something unseemly, I think, about a multi-millionaire suing to prevent those funds from being awarded to his primary opponent. The existing law may suck but the time to try to change it is if and when Foley is elected Governor, not now, in an attempt to knock out a challenger.

On the other hand, the other camp is dredging up an arrest for a minor offense in 1969, so I suppose all this is just politicians having fun.

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Things must be slow in the patent law business

Yes, quite right - I AM a load!

A NYC patent lawyer has complained (with what I presume is an implicit threat to sue) over the Greenwich School Board’s dress code for graduation ceremonies. The gentleman is concerned that his sixth-grade daughter might be required, two years from now, to wear a skirt at her eighth-grade graduation. I would assure him that, come high school graduation, she’ll be wearing a gown (unless he manages to ban those, too) and can wear what she wishes underneath but perhaps he’s worried that his princess’s graduation from Eastern might be her only such ceremony, and doesn’t want the occasion spoiled by her being forced to dress neatly.

Won’t someone throw this man a patent infringement case to keep him busy?

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Fountain for Tax Collector?

My brother John is visiting and, reading about our new tax collector Tod Laudonia’s nonfeasance, suggests that I run for the office. I’ll admit the idea has appeal. I know nothing about tax collecting, so I’m as qualified as Mr. Laudonia, the job pays $100 grand a year and is not only part-time, it is, at least as performed by Laudonia, no time. Unlike Laudonia I don’t golf but I do enjoy sailing and fishing so I could keep myself as busy as he does. As to putting out tax bills, who cares? As several readers have pointed out, the taxes are due whether or not a bill is sent, so I could fire everyone else on the staff, for a significant saving, and just direct the town attorney, who’s already on the town payroll, to sue everyone twice a year.

I like it.

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