Daily Archives: July 11, 2011

Hope and change

Cisco to fire 10,000 employees. In the  meantime, Congress is investigating Google for anti-trust violations. You may recall, or not, that the anti-monopoly laws were enacted to protect consumers, not business competitors. This present investigation has been brought at the behest of such weak competitors as Microsoft who, boo-hoo, can’t convince consumers to use their own search engines, so one might be forgiven if a suspicion arose that it’s about bribes to congressmen and not any genuine concern about abused consumers.

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Big whoop

Connecticut taxpayers will subsidize 3000 lucky homeowners by 2022  to purchase solar panels. Cost? Millions and millions. Net energy output? Just about zero. In the meantime, we’re shutting down our Millstone nuclear plants, 2,000 megawatts output powering 500,000 homes, so that the propeller beanie folks can take over our energy needs.

Over in New York, they’re busy shutting down Indian Point, another 2,000 + megawatt plant and again, the crazies plan to replace the energy with more propeller heads.

Out on Nantucket Sound, the huge windmill energy project, so large that Teddy Kennedy contracted brain cancer and died from worry about his ruined view, is estimated to produce  all of 454 megawatts at peak production. Teddy sailed those waters far more often than I but I’ll  vouch for what he’d have said were he still around: high winds out there are a blessing for sailors, but rare. Most days, you’re going to be lucky to power one of those god damned cfl bulbs in each Hyannis household. This boondoggle is just a billion(s) dollar equivalent of Dan Malloy’s sun panel project, to the same effect.

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I’ll admit I’ve never heard of this actress, but she’s pretty cool

A Marine Sergeant in Afghanistan posted a YouTube invitation to some hottie actress asking her to the Marine Birthday Military Ball in November (10th?) and she’s agreed to be his date for the evening.  I like that – give it back.

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You are not the only buyer out there

50 Carriglea

I try to tell my $2 – $3 million buyers this but there’s a natural inclination, especially when a house has lingered on the market for awhile, to disbelieve one’s beloved and trusted buyer’s agent. But while my folks dawdle, the good stuff in that price range is being scooped up, especially in Riverside, Old Greenwich and the mid-country.

But even the high-end houses, dead as that market is, have multiple buyers too. Case in point is 50 Carriglea, direct waterfront in Riverside, which started at $12 million in ’09, couldn’t sell and so was rented out. It came back on this spring at $9.250 million, which I thought was approaching a reasonable price. The builder paid $5.5 for the land, tore down the existing, dated house and built a beautiful, extremely well crafted house. I showed it several times – it’s one of my favorite houses in this end of town – but couldn’t instill a sense of urgency in my buyers. My bad, because it’s now reported as under contract. It probably isn’t going for full price but someone is getting a great house with dock and a swimming pool site: permitted, ground work done and ready to go, for a high, but justified price. Darnation.

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Why no jobs?

Small businesses aren’t hiring and aren’t planning to. Blame Obamacare, blame Dannel Malloy’s mandatory paid sick leave law, blame every damn regulation imposed on these people you like, or just wring your limp liberal wrists and blame lunar activity, but small businesses (500 employees or less) employ fifty percent of the private workforce, so when our Treasury Secretary insists that we have to raise taxes on small businesses or the government will have to shrink, you’ve got a pretty good idea of where the Democrats are going and what their goals are.

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Unemployment benefits run out

But so what? The self-employed never had these benefits at all.  That’s been my situation since 1988 (actually, except for the period 1981 – 1987, I’ve always been self-employed). It’s a tough world, as I well know.

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A home is a lousy investment

So says this USC professor, and he’s got the numbers to at least support his point. Of course, if you consider a house to be a depreciating liability, which I do, then you don’t really have an investment at all. You do, however, have a place to raise your family and the land the house sits on will, with luck appreciate.

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Swiss suffering from flatulence are in trouble now

Swiss installing air quality sensors on buses, trams. Too much weinerschnitzle at lunch? Walk, don’t use public transport.

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I’m not saying it’s a steal yet, but …

I’ve written about 9 Woodside Rd in Deer Park before. It’s a truly fabulous house on 2 acres, built in 1930 and renovated in 2008, when it sold for $10.950. Marked down (again) today to $8.950, which is a nice discount. I like this house and its location.

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Don’t you just seethe when people violate recycling rules?

Dismembered torso found on recycling plant’s conveyor belt. Probably accompanied by unacceptable plastic, too.

The police are treating this as a possible homicide in addition to a violation of recycling rules, which just shows that you can’t get much past these guys.

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Now here’s a foreclosure of note

Irish government seizes castle after owner defaults on an $80 million mortgage. Best part, for those who enjoy a bit of irony, is the name of the joint: Updown Manor. Lived up to its name.

Updown Manor

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A lengthy but thoughtful essay on the perils and pitfalls of drug legalization

By Walter Russell Mead.

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A tale of one city

344 Sound Beach Avenue sold quickly and closed last week for $1.310. Not too bad at all, but the sellers paid $1.510 for it in 2008.

9 Bayberry, up in the back country was a decent house but had most of its value in its almost 9 acres. It sold in just ten days, via bidding war, nabbing $6.075 on an asking price of $5.750 million.

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