Monthly Archives: March 2012

Who knew? French films aren’t restricted to M.Hulot and Jerry Lewis


So who's watching?

Or so says this article about a movie program held by the Greenwich Alliance Francaise. Cheese was served.

(Thanks, AJ, for reminding me of this guy)


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Pay it backwards

Here - surely someone else needs this money more than I do

In a surprising display of recognition that they’re undeserving, folk taking in less than $13,000 a year hand back 9% of that sum to their government by buying lottery tickets. “I know this was never my money,” said Penelope Snodgrass of Greenwich, Connecticut,”so the least I can do is return some of it. What with food stamps, AFDC, Section 8 Housing and Medicaid, not to mention my welfare check, I started feeling a little guilty.”


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Mark your calendar

Peter Tesei marches in the Frank Farricker Parade (Michael Skakel, right)

Next Friday is the Peter Tesei- sponsored Frank Farricker Day!


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And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth

We'll always have Keystone

EPA retreats on fracking pollution suit. Third time in a row. The science is settled.

The Environmental Protection Agency has dropped its claim that an energy company contaminated drinking water in Texas, the third time in recent months that the agency has backtracked on high-profile local allegations linking natural-gas drilling and water pollution.

On Friday, the agency told a federal judge it withdrew an administrative order that alleged Range Resources Corp. had polluted water wells in a rural Texas county west of Fort Worth. Under an agreement filed in U.S. court in Dallas, the EPA will also drop the lawsuit it filed in January 2011 against Range, and Range will end its appeal of the administrative order.

In addition to dropping the case in Texas, the EPA has agreed to substantial retesting of water in Wyoming after its methods were questioned. And in Pennsylvania, it has angered state officials by conducting its own analysis of well water—only to confirm the state’s finding that water once tainted by gas was safe.

Taken together, some experts say, these misfires could hurt the agency’s credibility at a time when federal and state regulators seek ways to ensure that natural-gas drilling is done safely.

A growing number of industry, academic and environmental experts say that while drilling can cause water contamination, that can be avoided by proper use of cement seals and other safety measures.


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Well, we know she’s a professional real estate agent

Terri Buhl sends along this latest piece of dreck from a New Canaan realtor. 

Spring is looking Bright! That’s what she says – to me it looks as though the New Canaan market is lying on its back with its legs sticking up in the air but that’s just me. I’d be curious, just by the way, to see the figures from 2006, when there was actually an active real estate market up in Whitebreadville.

New Canaan Pending and Sold Properties . 1st Quarter

   Year    # SFR Pending    # SFR Sold    TOTAL Contracts
  2008            41         32             73
  2009            15           7             22
  2010            35         26             61
  2011            34         46             70
  2012            24         42             66


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Kari, you ignorant slut

Village Idiot

Sociology professor explains why climate realists can’t think straight.

At the personal level, climate-change information raises fear about the future, a sense of helplessness and guilt. These emotions clash with individual — and often national — identity, sense of self-efficacy and the need for basic security and survival. In small groups, interactions often subvert political conversations and/or submerge the visibility of climate-change issues. At the macro level, or society at large, the co-authors point to an absence of serious discussion of climate change within U.S. Congressional hearings and in media coverage.

What this twat can’t recognize – perhaps she’s in denial – is that climate realists don’t suffer any of the feelings she does: no fear about the future, no helplessness, no guilt. She’s – what’s the term, Walt, “transferring”? Whatever, she’s shifting her hysteria onto us and then claiming we’re deranged. With this kind of thinking, no wonder she’s a professor. That, and her incredible academic accomplishments, like writing

Norgaard, Kari Marie. 1999. “Moon Phases, Menstrual Cycles and Mother Earth: The
Construction of a Special Relationship Between Women and Nature,” Ethics and
the Environment 4(2): 197-209.


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Okay, so I’ve never watched Keith Olbermann

But I’ve heard bad things about him and gather he’s a bit of an asshole. Today Al Gore fired him which I’m sure is my loss, but get this: the guy was being paid $10 million a year and couldn’t be bothered to show up for work half the time.  Ten million per is more money than is earned by many of the people Olbermann and his leftist pals despise, but they at least show up for work. Repeal the Eisenhower tax cuts!


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Going down?

A reader sends along this note of interest on Greenwich resident Stanley Cheslock, he of the Taconic Circus;

You fail to mention that poor Stanley has taken a trip to Burger King.
Bankruptcy Court is never a fun prospect.

Coupled with the FBI investigation, whom he has filed suit against (details under closed seal)

and not to forget the $31MM New Mexico State Pension Fund debacle with issues still to be decided
and it all adds up to a train wreck in slow motion


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Extraordinary delusions and the madness of crowds

Organizing the stupid to balance the state budget

That mega-lotto thing is at $640 million and counting and people are losing their minds. I’m ahead of all of them because my chances of winning are identical to theirs and I still have the buck I saved by not buying a ticket.

Our Lottery Commissioner Fudrucker has also refrained from spending his dollar and I am not saying that I overheard him on the phone this afternoon discussing the winning number that’s already been drawn. It is possible, however, that he won’t be opening the firm for business Monday.


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Of course you can sell your house – just price it right

53 Cross Lane

I missed this accepted offer earlier this week but I see that 53 Cross Lane (in Cos Cob!), priced at $1.195 million, went in just twelve days. And it should have. The owner is a friend of mine (mostly a friendship centered around hunting, alas, and not selling a small portion of his real estate portfolio) and I know the house to be in excellent condition. It’s on a quiet street and right across from Loughlin Park so $1.2 seems like a bargain. If a buyer showed up in less than two weeks, it was. Tom Gorin was listing broker.


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Bidding war!

115 Pilgrim Drive, one of those streets that you access by driving into Port Chester and then doubling back, was listed (after a price reduction) at $430,000 and has been sold for $435,000. It looks like a decent house and what else is around for $435? Not much, obviously, hence the presence of at least two buyers.

Town assesses this at $387,240 which implies a market value of $542,000. Do you get the impression that lower-priced houses are getting screwed by our tax collector Tod Laudonia these days?



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High price in Cos Cob?

Gentlemen, start your dozers!

39 Dartmouth Road, a 2 acre back lot, all woods, and listed as land, has sold for $985,000. The town appraised it at $1.337 million, suggesting a market value of around $1.8, but that’s ridiculous. The estate selling this land priced it at $1.395 and, as noted, it sold for $985 after 564 days on the market. The buyer, from out of town (?) was represented by something called “The Buyer’s Representatives”, a firm somewhere north of here. Guess it takes an out-of-town broker to spot value that’s gone so long unrecognized by us locals.

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Accepted offers this week

As of 2:00 pm, with another two hours to go, we have had 17 accepted offers this week. I have no idea of the significance of the following, but here it is:

Price Range               Number              Area

$10 mm +                          3                    GR

$4-$10                                0

$3-$4                                  3                    RV (2), CC (1)

$2-$3                                  3                    RV (2), CC (1)

$1-$2                                  6                    GR (2), RV (2), CC (2)

<$1                                      1                     RV

UPDATE: Inventory, 550 Single Family          Increase (decrease) from 2006

$10+                                   44                                 38%

$5-$9,999                        113                                  49%

$3-$5                                107                                  14%

$2-$3                                  82                                 ( 7%)

$1-$2                                 118                                  24%

< $1                                     86                                  91%

UPDATE II: 2006 Inventory 442 SF (grabbed from Shore & Country’s website)

$10 +                                   32

$5-$10                                 76

$3-$5                                  96

$2-$3                                  88

$1-$2                                   95

<$1                                      48


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Don’t you wish YOU could be a Senator?

get the f**k out of my parking space!

You could rule the world, or at least the Democratic Underground – Senators try legislating themselves special parking places for their electric show cars. Carl Levin and Jeff Merkly, Democrats, joined Republican Lamar Alexander in the attempt to slip such a law past their peers. It’s wonderful to see that bi-partisanship isn’t completely dead up on Capital Hill.

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What’s a building lot of four acres in the Back Country worth?

25 Wilshire

$1.9 million for four acres, if 25 Wilshire Rd is indicative. 406 days on market, original asking price, $3.450. Is it just me, or does selling a house for 55% of the price you listed it for evidence a bad understanding of the market? Its assessment was $1.896, by the way.

On the other hand, Belle Haven continues to impress. 55 Otter Rock, asking $10.750 million (1.43 acres) has an accepted offer just fifteen days after hitting the market. I’d rather live in Nashua, New Hampshire. I’m sure whoever is buying this can afford to do both. Assessment $4.5 – go figure.


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This is probably why the owners of 87 Perkins Road are selling

Half the price of a Milbank condo

For the same money, they can live here in Nashua, New Hampshire. I don’t know where Nashua, New Hampshire is, but does it matter? There’s enough room to install a private airfield here, and then you’ll be able to accommodate Tommy Hilfiger and Mark Mariani. (UPDATE: A reader corrects me that the place is in Newport, New Hampshire – bring your Breton Reds! – which seems to be up near New London – no subs, but an airfield for Tommy)

Five hundred acres (and damn, don’t I wish it were still a 25,000 acre hunting preserve) and a house, all for $3.5 million – negotiable, surely.



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Correcting the old God’s errors

Champion of the New World Order

I particularly like Ed Driscoll’s introduction to this latest wacko screed because I’ve been saying the same thing for years, and the measure of a genius is the extent to which he agrees with you. Here’s Ed:

It’s no coincidence that global warming took off as an issue just as the Soviet Union fell; it’s top-down centralized government’s last best hope of controlling the masses. And like other forms of totalitarian worldviews, it doubles as a religion as well, as Czech President Vaclav Klaus noted late last year:

“I’m convinced that after years of studying the phenomenon, global warming is not the real issue of temperature,” said Klaus, an economist by training. “That is the issue of a new ideology or a new religion. A religion of climate change or a religion of global warming. This is a religion which tells us that the people are responsible for the current, very small increase in temperatures. And they should be punished.”

The post goes on to report on a proposal – a thought exercise, its authors make clear, rather than a serious policy prescription, so far:

-Induce intolerance to red meat (think lactose intolerance), since livestock farming accounts for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions.

-Make humans smaller to reduce the amount of energy we each need to consume. This could be done by selecting smaller embryos through preimplantation genetic diagnosis, a technique already in use to screen for genetic diseases. “Human engineering could therefore give people the choice between having a greater number of smaller children or a smaller number of larger children,” they write.

-Reduce birthrates by making people smarter, since higher cognitive ability appears linked to lower birthrates. This could be achieved through a variety of means, including better schooling, electrical stimulation of the brain and drugs designed to improve cognitive ability, they propose.

-Treat people with hormones, such as oxytocin, to make us more altruistic and empathetic. As a result, people would be more willing to act as a group and more sensitive to the suffering of animals and other people caused by climate change.


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A sale, a price cut and a new listing

243 Hamilton Avenue, a condo, sold for $700,000. It sold in 2007 for $775,000, so I think the seller did well, assuming he got five years of shelter out of the deal.

87 Perkins

87 Perkins Road has cut its price from $3.3 million to an even $3 million. I really like this house and thought it well priced back at $3.3. Obviously, the market disagrees. Comparable sales on Perkins support $3 million (and presumably there’s some negotiating room still left) and unlike many lots on the street, this one is high and dry with a very usable, attractive yard. The house itself is in excellent condition, everything up-to-date and to me, it felt like a family friendly, nice place to live. Right down the street from Burning Tree, too.If this is your price range and you want mid-country, I’d check it out.

1 Stillview Drive off Weaver Street in Glenville is a new listing asking $1.390 million. I haven’t seen it but the interior photos look beautiful. No pictures of the land, which makes me suspect that this one, like so many houses in that neighborhood, sits on a cliff. Pretty cool-looking inside, though, and the price definitely caught my eye.


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Is there a rule that says real estate agents have to overprice their own property?

(Photo by EOS)

198 Milbank, a new condo, is up on stage today at a price of $5.995 million. I haven’t seen the place – even pictures of it haven’t been posted yet, but going solely by what other condos on Milbank and East Elm have sold for, I think this one will be around for a while. Just guessing, of course, and maybe this will have sold before I even post on it. Time will tell.


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They aren’t just coming, they’re already here

All your iPhones are belong to us!

Security expert: Chinese have planted electronic sabotage bugs in all electronic devices sold in America. Which is almost everything we use. We already know that they’re selling compromised equipment to our military but this is a new development, to me.

Clarke, like  the rest of the world, knows China is sending compromised  electronics to the U.S. by the boatload, to be used in military vehicles  from submarines to fighter jets, and that many of them are poor quality,  counterfeit, and worthless, but he thinks they hold another secret.

He believes the Chinese, already known for their industrial espionage, and  electronic subterfuge, have built  “logic bombs,” “Trojan horses,” and  trapdoors into all manner of electronic components that could be activated at a  moments notice, sending a digital apocalypse to the U.S. military with a few simple keystrokes.



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