Daily Archives: September 5, 2014

Well no one liked him much after he lost his money

His cheat in; heartthrob - Andy's main squeeze, Catherne Hooper, back when she was still good looking

His cheatn’ heart throb – Andy’s main squeeze, Catherine Hooper, back when she was good looking

An unsympathetic look back at the life,death and spending habits of Andy Madoff.  Old Greenwich still has Madoff’s former wife, in Lucas Point, and Mother Ruth on Tomac, so with the exception of Bernie himself, who’s set up temporary residence in Butner, North Carolina, that’s about it. Greenwich rules!


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New broker, new price, same result?

195 Clapboard Ridge Rd

195 Clapboard Ridge Rd

195 Clapboard Ridge – the better half of that road, near Round Hill – is back on the market and now priced at $3.1 million. Interesting story here, so far as I can figure out from the tax records. It looks like builder Jordan Saper bought it for $2.7 million in 2005, taking out a $4.3 million mortgage at the time, presumably to build something bigger. A week later, he sold it to the present owner for $3.050. A bidding war, with the disappointed loser coming back and buying it from the winner?

I don’t know, but if so, this owner would have been better off letting Saper keep it. Instead, he poured a lot of money into renovating it and then tried selling it two years later for $4.3 million, and has been trying to unload it ever since, with a few time outs while it was rented out. Last year the listing expired, house still unsold, at $3.3, and now it’s back.

The real trouble here is that the owner, now 82, bought and renovated a house perfectly suited for the modest tastes of a very wealthy man of his generation. Barring another person of his age showing up, the primary value of this property is the land the house sits on, and a two-acre rear lot just isn’t worth a whole hell of a lot. I’m guessing $2.5, eventually.

The merry tinkle of the host playing "I'm Old Fashioned"   on the parlor piano greets guests as they enter.

The merry tinkle of the host playing “I’m Old Fashioned” on the parlor piano greets guests as they enter.


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The fat lady’s singing

It was a nice try, Lumpy

It was a nice try, Lumpy

Chicago school drops Lady O’s lunch plan after feds ban humus as too fatty, pita bread too low in protein.

Those restrictions and others imposed on schools through the revamped “healthier” National School Lunch Program convinced officials in Illinois’ second largest school district to forfeit nearly $1 million in federal lunch aid to serve students food they want to eat, rather than what the government tells them to, CBS reports.

“So far so good. The meals, as you’ve seen, look fantastic, and there’s a lot of excitement,” District 214 Associate Superintendent Cathy Johnson told the news station as officials recently unveiled their new menu.

District 214 administrators told CBS the unreasonable restrictions on protein, sodium and fat made preparing meals students would buy nearly impossible, while the district-inspired menu “would be far simpler,” according to Johnson.

Crispy falafel with flatbread and rice pilaf, and pasta primavera with roasted vegetables and olive oil – two new menu items in District 214’s lineup – would have violated the federal regulations because of low protein content, for example.

The district simply wasn’t selling enough lunches under the federal restrictions to qualify for reimbursement, so they decided to forego a potential $900,000 in government lunch aid to go it alone.

“It’s a reimbursement, so if we don’t sell food, we won’t receive that $900,000 anyways,” Johnson said.


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What a waste of effort

Che Cafe, University of California San Diego

Che Cafe, University of California San Diego

Cuba recruiting spies from U.S. universities.

Cuba’s communist-led intelligence services are aggressively recruiting leftist American academics and university professors as spies and influence agents, according to an internal FBI report published this week.

Cuban intelligence services “have perfected the work of placing agents, that includes aggressively targeting U.S. universities under the assumption that a percentage of students will eventually move on to positions within the U.S. government that can provide access to information of use to the [Cuban intelligence service],” the five-page unclassified FBI reportsays. It notes that the Cubans “devote a significant amount of resources to targeting and exploiting U.S. academia.”

“Academia has been and remains a key target of foreign intelligence services, including the [Cuban intelligence service],” the report concludes.

Recruit ’em? From what I’ve observed of modern academia, all the commies need do is ask. They could set up a table at Georgetown University, for example, offering free Che Tee shirts to teachers and students in exchange for agreeing to spy on our government and they’d run out of shirts long before they ran out of volunteers.


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Price cut in Riverside

5Lake Drive

5 Lake [sic] Drive

5 Lake Drive still hasn’t sold so today the owners knocked another $100,000 from its price, bringing it down to $2.795. It started in February at $3.150 and while I thought that was a little aggressive, I loved the house, so I’m amazed it’s still around. This is a great location, with the station pond across the street offering a huge neighborhood playground and the station itself a stone’s throw away. I imagine would-be buyers may be scared off by the noise but no one I know who’s lived on Lake Drive, and I’ve known friends and families there since 1953, ever complained to me; it’s pretty much a non-issue.

In any event, if you haven’t checked this house out, or did, but passed, you might want to revisit. I think it’s approaching a very good value, especially for Riverside.


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Not every section of town has returned even to 2003 levels

128 Porchuck Road

128 Porchuck Road

Case in point, Northwestern Greenwich, where 128 Porchuck Road has been placed back on the market after being rented for a year, and is now asking $5 million. The owners paid $5.2 for this house in 2003 and presumably put a lot more money into it, because they put it up for sale in 2009-2010 at $6.5 million. That listing expired so they tried again in 2012, starting at $5.5 and gradually dropping to $4.995 before giving up and renting it out.

Now they’re back, but the market clearly isn’t.

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Price cut on John Street

42 John Street

42 John Street

42 John Street reduced from $7.250 to $6.495 million. Eight acres, beautiful home in great condition, spectacular views of Long Island Sound, even from here, because of the hill it sits on. I liked it at its original price, but it doesn’t have the 15′ ceilings so fashionable these day, so that may be hurting its chances. My best guess, though, lies in its location, inadvertently revealed by the listing when it refers, I think, to the driveway, not its distance from town: “A long drive delivers one to a gracious motor court with porte-cochere and clock tower.”

Forget the “motor court” imagery, it’s the “long drive” that’s probably causing the trouble.

I think this house would be well worth the extra driving each day to reach it, but apparently buyers disagree. Maybe the agent should aim his marketing to Tesla owners.

Motor Court, Rt. 66

Motor Court, Rt. 66


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As the “settled science” crumbles

Remember this?

Remember this?

WSJ: Whatever happened to global warming?

On Sept. 23 the United Nations will host a party for world leaders in New York to pledge urgent action against climate change. Yet leaders from China, India and Germany have already announced that they won’t attend the summit and others are likely to follow, leaving President Obama looking a bit lonely. Could it be that they no longer regard it as an urgent threat that some time later in this century the air may get a bit warmer?

In effect, this is all that’s left of the global-warming emergency the U.N. declared in its first report on the subject in 1990. The U.N. no longer claims that there will be dangerous or rapid climate change in the next two decades. Last September, between the second and final draft of its fifth assessment report, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change quietly downgraded the warming it expected in the 30 years following 1995, to about 0.5 degrees Celsius from 0.7 (or, in Fahrenheit, to about 0.9 degrees, from 1.3).

Even that is likely to be too high. The climate-research establishment has finally admitted openly what skeptic scientists have been saying for nearly a decade: Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began.

First the climate-research establishment denied that a pause existed, noting that if there was a pause, it would invalidate their theories. Now they say there is a pause (or “hiatus”), but that it doesn’t after all invalidate their theories.

Alas, their explanations have made their predicament worse by implying that man-made climate change is so slow and tentative that it can be easily overwhelmed by natural variation in temperature—a possibility that they had previously all but ruled out.

When the climate scientist and geologist Bob Carter of James Cook University in Australia wrote an article in 2006 saying that there had been no global warming since 1998 according to the most widely used measure of average global air temperatures, there was an outcry. A year later, when David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London made the same point, the environmentalist and journalist Mark Lynas said in the New Statesman that Mr. Whitehouse was “wrong, completely wrong,” and was “deliberately, or otherwise, misleading the public.”

We know now that it was Mr. Lynas who was wrong. Two years before Mr. Whitehouse’s article, climate scientists were already admitting in emails among themselves that there had been no warming since the late 1990s. “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998,” wrote Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia in Britain in 2005. He went on: “Okay it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

If the pause lasted 15 years, they conceded, then it would be so significant that it would invalidate the climate-change models upon which policy was being built.

Well, the pause has now lasted for 16, 19 or 26 years—depending on whether you choose the surface temperature record or one of two satellite records of the lower atmosphere. That’s according to a new statistical calculation by Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada.

And so on. None of this is news to the skeptics and atheists, but to fully-committed members of the Church of Mother Gaia, the loss of their bedrock will be as shattering as sunrise the day after the predicted end of the world. Those with the most to lose from the collapse of the paradigm: “green” businesses, and social progressives, will become the new deniers, but eventually the sheeple will grow immune to their heat mongering and when that happens, the media will also lose interest and return to covering the Kardashians. Less media hype, less fear, less interest, less media hype: it will be a downward spiral into indifference.

Of course, since the goal of the two groups behind this bullshit was never saving the earth but control of the people on it and profiting from that control, the progressives will drum up a new scare story and their business partners will move swiftly to refocus their products (I’m guessing snowblowers to fight the coming ice age, but it could be anything). It would nice if the sheeple remembered this entire trumped-up scam before deciding to go along with the next one, but why should human nature and gullibility change now?

We can at least hope for a brief hiatus between the final end of this hoax and the world-wide acceptance of the next one.



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3D-printed houses

Pretty neat video here. Another decade or so, carpenters, electricians, even architects may join the ranks of the obsolete.


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Just in case we ever have another hurricane, here’s a common sense list for Noah and the rest of us

Is there a licensed electron on board?

Is there a licensed electrician on board?

Popular Science: Rules for safety after a flood

1. Never go into a flood-damaged basement or a basement filled with water until the utility company, fire department, or a licensed electrician has removed the home’s electrical meter from its socket.

Why: Removing the meter from the socket is the only way the house can be completely disconnected from the grid. Even if you’ve lost power, you can still be electrocuted in a flooded basement if someone is running a generator nearby and back-feeding electricity into a storm damaged grid. You can’t count on a storm-damaged circuit breaker or disconnect switch to protect you. The only safe way is to remove the meter.

2. Once the building is pumped out and you begin recovery efforts, keep in mind that all flooded electrical equipment is almost certainly ruined.

Why: Very few things in a house are rated to survive submersion, even briefly. The following will almost certainly need to be replaced:

Plastic-sheathed building wire (often referred to by the trade name Romex)
Armored cable (often referred to by the trade name BX)
Circuit panels and circuit breakers
Fuse boxes and fuses
Sub panels
Switched disconnect boxes
Outlet receptacles
Circuit boards
Non-submersible pumps
Blowers and fans
Air conditioners


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