Daily Archives: October 28, 2010

What do I know about this stuff?

Hey EOS, and my other lady readers: Sierra Traders is selling $85 Mountain Khaki pants for less than $30. They’re stretchy, seem durable as hell, and would probably be perfect for my two crazy daughters who rock climb and do that sort of stuff (I’ve got you covered, John, don’t worry). But they only come in men’s sizes. Is that a big deal? Are girl’s pants cut differently and, ignoring that, can you guys wear men’s pants in comfort? These are the sort of questions I should have answered long ago but … any advice welcome.


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The Fountain boys are 45-years-past this, but in case the devil has spawned again …


How to remove Halloween eggs from your house and automobile.

It would cost millions of dollars to develop a nontoxic bomb for vandals that would be as insidiously effective as the ordinary chicken egg. Consider that the egg is light and delicate, yet tough enough to carry its payload to the target. On impact, it explodes with a self-mixing fury that turns its contents into an industrial shade of yellow-orange. Then there’s the gratifying ker-splat sound that it makes.


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What the heck is up with Notre Dame?

20-year-old Declan Sullivan killed while filming football practice from folding crane. My own son John did the same job at his college , so perhaps I’m overly sensitive on the subject, but this kid was sent up on a crane that carried warning stickers that cautioned not to use it when winds were above 20 mph, while in fact there were gusts of 50 mph and greater. Minutes before he died, Sullivan Twittered that he was scared to death. Dead at twenty? Where were the adults?


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I’d like to write about real estate – really!

But there’s just no real activity. We have price cuts that still leave properties priced above 2006 levels, and new listings above even that. The few houses selling are, for the most part, those that go for 70% of the 2005 market price. The rest of this stuff is just not seriously for sale, and there’s no point writing about it. If the owners get serious, you’ll hear about it here first. Otherwise, eh? Why bother.


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No joy for sellers here

92 Hunting Ridge

Tear down on Hunting Ridge. Assessed at $1.556, now asking $1.469. Owners put in a brand new kitchen this year, which was not a wise decision. Who advised them on that?

If it does sell, keep an eye out at Green Demolitions – a new kitchen should be appearing soon.

18 Ferncliff

Same story at 18 Ferncliff : another price cut, down now to $1.650 million. These poor owners have been trying to sell since 2007 but they overpriced the place at $1.995 and were then persuaded by their agent to install a new kitchen and raise the price to $2.195 (!). So now, post kitchen, they’re down to $1.650. Assessment is $1.412 – I suggested $1.350 back in 2007 and of course, it’s worth less than that now. Great house, by the way, for a single or couple.

195 Clapboard Ridge

This Clapboard Ridge house started at $4.6 million in February, 2007, and as of today is down to $3. 6. Assessment is $2.36.


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What did I say about a defective gene?

This from a reader:

you poor dear conservatives can’t help yourselves for opressing women’s right to healthcare, peoples rights to freedom of religion, and the right to asssembly and free speech. It seems that the conservative gene dances the Rand Paul Stomp of suppression,and murding doctors at church, who provide much needed healthcare to wives and mothers.

Taking the Village Idiot’s points one by one:

“opressing [sic] women’s right to healthcare”.

I guess this is about moral conservatives’ opposition to abortion. I’m not of that camp, but I do find it amusing to conflate trying to save the life of a fetus with “healthcare”.

peoples [sic] rights to freedom of religion and the right to assembly and free speech

Huh? Examples, please?

Rand Paul stomp.

Condemned by Mr. Paul and everyone else associated with his campaign. That it happened at his rally does not mean that he endorsed, advocated for or encouraged it. I suspect that liberals would likewise disassociate themselves from the Unibomber.

Murdering doctors at a church.

One doctor, one nut. See reference to Unibomber, above.


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Oh my God, it’s worldwide

Boredatwork sends along this link:

England: wear goggles when bobbing for apples.

Consultant ophthalmologist Parwez Hossain, from Southampton General Hospital, Hampshire, said dunking your head into a bowl of water to bite an apple was fraught with danger.

He said three people were admitted to the hospital with apple bobbing injuries last year, adding:  ‘Casualty staff have seen children and adults turning up on Halloween with scratches on the cornea and blunt eye injuries from impacts caused by apple bobbing.

‘There is also the possibility of people contracting potentially serious corneal infections from dirty water or residue of liquids if bowls aren’t cleaned properly.

‘At the extreme end of the scale you could end up losing your sight. Admissions to casualty on bonfire night have gone down as people have become more aware of health and safety but we have not seen a decline on Halloween.

‘Where there is a chance of a high velocity impact, for example with an apple, you need to wear eye protection such as goggles.

‘It is also advisable to remove stalks because they could poke you in the eye, especially if you are playing in the dark and can’t see what you are doing.

‘I would suggest using bottled mineral water or boiling tap water and waiting for it to cool down, like we do for clinical trials.

‘This is because stagnant water and tap water could contain water-borne organisms, which may lead to infection.’

Dr Hossain even suggested people should use their hands rather than mouths to play the game, saying: ‘It may defeat the whole object of the game, but you could remove the apple with your hand.’

He added: ”We are not telling people to avoid fun and games but we are asking people to take a bit of extra care while enjoying themselves at Halloween.

You laugh, I laugh, but this is what happens when we are forced to pay fools’ medical bills: mandatory helmet laws, bans on smoking and transfats, etc. When we’re all paying, private behavior becomes our legitimate concern. Which is a lousy way to live.

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It’s not “a lifestyle choice” – the poor dears can’t help themselves


Village Idiot Pride Parade

Defective gene responsible for liberalism



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Weenie parents

No child has ever been poisoned by Halloween candy – not one.

Take “stranger danger,” the classic Halloween horror. Even when I was a kid, back in the “Bewitched” and “Brady Bunch” costume era, parents were already worried about neighbors poisoning candy. Sure, the folks down the street might smile and wave the rest of the year, but apparently they were just biding their time before stuffing us silly with strychnine-laced Smarties.

That was a wacky idea, but we bought it. We still buy it, even though Joel Best, a sociologist at the University of Delaware, has researched the topic and spends every October telling the press that there has never been a single case of any child being killed by a stranger’s Halloween candy. (Oh, yes, he concedes, there was once a Texas boy poisoned by a Pixie Stix. But his dad did it for the insurance money. He was executed.)

Halloween taught marketers that parents are willing to be warned about anything, no matter how preposterous, and then they’re willing to be sold whatever solutions the market can come up with. Face paint so no mask will obscure a child’s vision. Purell, so no child touches a germ. And the biggest boondoggle of all: an adult-supervised party, so no child encounters anything exciting, er, “dangerous.”

Think of how Halloween used to be the one day of the year when gaggles of kids took to the streets by themselves—at night even. Big fun! Low cost! But once the party moved inside, to keep kids safe from the nonexistent poisoners, in came all the nonsense. The battery-operated caskets. The hired witch. The Costco veggie trays and plastic everything else. Halloween went from hobo holiday to $6 billion extravaganza.

And it blazed the way for adult-supervised everything else. Let kids make their own fun? Not anymore! Let’s sign our toddlers up for “movement” classes! Let’s bring on the extracurricular activities, travel soccer and manicure parties for the older kids. Once Halloween got outsourced to adults, no kids-only activity was safe. Goodbye sandlot, hello batting coach!


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Demmerkrats running scared


Nancy Barton and staff flee Demmerkrat clambake on Tod's Point

Yesterday’s mail brought a campaign flyer from a Nancy Barton, who is running, I believe, on the Democrat slate as State Senator. I was amused to see that her solution to our multi-billion budget disaster is to “cut fraud and wasteful spending” – you mean, forty years of running this state and the Dems have permitted that much fraud and waste? – but more telling was that she makes no mention of being a Demmerkrat; none!


What’s she so embarrassed about?


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Never pay list price

4 Juniper Hill Rd

This house on Juniper (off of Stanwich) asked $3.395 in 2005, and is assessed at $2.294 million. Sold yesterday for $2.120.


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Jim Himes: thank God for TARP!

The rest of the country hates TARP but in the land of  “Rockefeller Republicans”, Jimbo is making hay out of this great job saving bill. Jobs were saved for high-income individuals, which is fine by me – I  sell houses to these folks, but it’s interesting that the only people who like TARP are the fat cats of Greenwich, because, traditionally, the Demmerkrats posed as champions of the little people. Today, it’s a party for the stupid and the rich. So it goes.


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