Daily Archives: January 10, 2013

Al Gore is in Israel?

Jogging to the whaling wall?

So where’s this whaling wall?

Blizzard shuts down Jerusalem.


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Feel good legislation that will accomplish nothing

Colt .45 Model 1911A

Colt .45 Model 1911A

Much of the talk of new measures of gun control recently focuses on a ban on “high capacity magazines”, those little steel boxes that hold the cartridges (“bullets” to most TV talkers) that are fired from guns. “No hunter needs ten shots to kill a deer” Andrew Cuomo bellowed yesterday, and our own Governor Malloy has joined the chorus, as well as Joe Biden and countless other politicians. Assuming they actually know anything about what they’re talking about, these charlatans are pushing for a piece of legislative slight of hand that will give their ignorant, trusting constituents a false sense of security and a belief that, by golly, their politicians are doing something. Nothing could be further from the truth. The weapon shown here is a Colt .45, designed by John Browning and adopted by our military forces in 1911. One hundred years on it is still in use, because it works, superbly, under all conditions and all day and night long (in one of the tests conducted by the Army 6,000 rounds were fired from one gun over two days, with the only attention to the weapon a dunking in a barrel of water to cool it off). It is a “semi-automatic” gun, in that each pull of the trigger fires a single bullet. The magazine you see below it holds seven rounds, so you could easily fire seven rounds in less than five seconds.

“Fine”, you say, “at least if a school shooter had one of those only seven children would die, not 26 – by banning higher capacity magazines Governor Malloy has just saved 19 children! Salvation is at hand!”

But here’s the thing: hidden from view (because it’s on the other side of the pistol) is a magazine release button. Press it, and the magazine drops out and a new one can be slapped in. Even target shooters like myself take several magazines to the range and preload them so that we don’t have to spend a minute or so (I’m slow at the game) reloading the original clip. It takes me less than three seconds – I just tried it – to drop the magazine, insert a new one and be ready to resume firing. It strikes me as unlikely that any teacher, no matter how heroic, would be standing close enough to a man firing a pistol at him to reach out and overpower him, so that split second reprieve is of no use – shoot the bastard with your own gun, even while – especially while-he’s still firing and save some lives. Waiting to rush him while he reloads looks pretty cool on TV but that, sorry to break it to you, isn’t realistic. It’s as phony as the Hollywood heroes holding their pistols sideways to kill bad guys, as phony as the hero who takes a shot to his arm by a hollow point .45 bullet, shrugs it off and continues the chase.

All of which is to say that the non-gun owning constituents of these politicians are being lied to and deceived   by their “leaders”.


1936 Model 1911A, with  .22 Colt conversion kit

1936 Model 1911A, National Match, with .22 Colt conversion kit


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The silence in the marketplace is a bit deceptive

There’s been little sales activity reported in this week after New Years but I’m not alone in being busy showing houses, and I believe we’ll start seeing the results of that activity (not mine, others, drat) soon. For instance, after scouring the inventory of $1-$2 million homes, my clients and I found six that could possibly fit their needs, but when I called to set up viewing appointments I learned that two already have accepted offers and inspections completed. The others are all enjoying multiple showings, a welcome phenomenon for sellers after a pretty dormant fall.

Higher priced homes aren’t moving that quickly and I don’t expect them to any time soon, but there are certainly buyers ready to go. This much hasn’t changed: buyers still insist on seeing value – I haven’t found one yet who’s ready to fling caution and checkbook to the wind and rush into contract, the way some did in the good old / bad old days. And that’s a good thing.



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A gem discovered on the open house tour

30 Stanwich Rd

30 Stanwich Rd

I somehow missed 30 Stanwich Road, $5.495 million when it came on back in September but it’s still for sale and so its agent Tom Gorin held another broker open house today, which I did get to. What a grand house. Built in 1911 and completely made over and brought up to date, it retains all its original charm: high ceilings, spacious living areas, beautiful (3 acres) lawns, but with modern mechanicals, windows, and all the important stuff. I do love old houses but I really don’t want to live as people did in 1911, if for no other reason than I enjoy reading at night without benefit of whale oil.

If there’s something missing from this house, and I suppose there must be or it would have sold by now, it could be the lack of (another) kiddie playroom. That’s just a guess, because it’s the only thing I can think of that would explain why such a great house, close to town, still remains unsold. If so, the design lends itself to the addition of one off its eat-in kitchen/family room and there’s plenty of land and FAR to accommodate it. Knock a couple of hundred thousand off its asking price to pay for one and Bob’s your uncle.

145 Parsonage Rd

145 Parsonage Rd

Speaking of price, this one doesn’t seem out of whack, even given the moribund state of the $5 million + market. I’d compare this to 145 Parsonage Road, which sold at full price, $4.995, last summer. Parsonage was actually a 1955 house, rebuilt in 2002, and on 2.5, rather than 3 acres, with the same grace and beauty of this one and the same easy distance from downtown Greenwich. You can’t buy Parsonage; it sold in less than ten days, but if you missed out on that one you should look at Stanwich – in my opinion, you wouldn’t be losing out on anything at all.


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America’s Greatest Blogger (for one day, anyway)

A friend sent me the link to this Ann Coulter site on which, buried in the right hand column for January 3rd, this blog as mentioned under the caption  “America’s Greatest Blogger”. Who am I to disagree, though my gratitude is tempered by the ephemeral nature of that designation.

But kind of fun – do you suppose she was inspired by my great real estate reporting?


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