Daily Archives: February 3, 2016

Point, counter-point


For that matter, isn’t his using hair straightener culturally appropriative and inauthentic?

Ed Driscoll:

NEWS YOU CAN USE: It’s Now Racist to Wear Toe Rings.

Oh, of course it is. But is the reverse true? By that “logic,” minorities such as Barack Obama and Al Sharpton should not be wearing Savile Row-inspired business suits.


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The only bright spot in his being elected US Senator was that he’d be getting out of state matters, but Blumenthal has only expanded his reach, and now wants to micro-manage municipalities’ business


Thanks for checking in, God, and yes, I DO have some suggestions for you

Blumenthal voices opposition to Eversource’s power line project through Bruce Park. If the man wants to voice his opinion as a private citizen, fine; who can stop him? But he brigs the clout of federal office with him on these matters, and he knows that. The federal government was not supposed to be empowered to govern stop signs and local zoning matters, but it does, now, and megalomaniac senators like Blumenthal are at the speartip of that power grab.


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Your tax dollars at work, but certainly not for you

losing poker player

Tip for the American Taxpayer: “If you’ve been in the game 30 minutes and you don’t know who the chump is, you’re the chump.”

Government starts providing super-speed internet access to public housing tenants.

Google Fiber and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have partnered to bring “ultra-high speed” 1 gigabit Internet to public housing units in many cities – a connection speed much faster than the average household in the United States.

West Bluff Townhomes in Kansas City, Mo., has become the first public housing development with a 1 gigabit or 1,000 mbps Internet connection through the ConnectHome Initiative. Google Fiber said the speed has been provided free of charge and at no cost to HUD. [So guess who’ll be paying higher rates to cover the cost? – Ed]

According to the most recent State of the Internet report, the average U.S. Internet connection speed was 11.9 mbps.

Verizon Fios currently offers up to 500 mbps for a high monthly fee of $269.99 per month for residential Internet. Comcast offers a 2,000 mbps package for $299.99 per month. A Google Fiber 1,000 mbps speed costs $70 per month for those living in an area where the service is available. The service is currently limited with plans to expand to more states in the future.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who is on the list of likely Democratic vice presidential candidates and has been actively campaigning for Hillary Clinton, said the connection in the public housing units would be about 100 times faster than average connections in the U.S.

“In the coming months, we’ll bring this high-speed broadband to 1,300 public housing families in the Kansas City metro area,” he said.

HUD also announced that the gigabit speeds would eventually be available at HUD assisted and affordable housing in all fiber cities, including Atlanta, Durham, N.C., San Antonio and Nashville.

Castro said the high-speed connection would ultimately reach 200,000 children in 28 communities.

Dennis Kish, CEO of Google Fiber, said the public housing residents would not be charged any fees for the speed and would not have to sign a contract.

“The gigabit speeds are being offered to all of the residents who are in the public housing that we are connecting. We feel as though there is a rising tide that we can help create in our country by really reaching out to residents who do not have an opportunity to connect to the web and help reach that digital divide,” he said.

As I understand the logic of this, people who work for a living are so tired after coming home from their jobs that they just flop on the couch and waste their time watching Netflix and porn channels, whereas the lazy and indolent have the luxury to devote their days taking on-line internet classes and scanning for lucrative job opportunities. Which group would you want to subsidize?


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When Realtors lie

The listing agent for 11 Circle Drive claims the house is 5,100 square feet, and lists “tax card” as the source of that number.

The tax card itself shows 3,624.

I think the Greenwich Association of Realtors should stop wasting time naming each other to their “Hall of fame” that Walt has discovered and devote their energies instead to creating a new square footage calculation source for agents like this to cite: The “POOMA” measurement, for “Pulled Out Of My Ass”.

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By definition, liberals can’t be racist, sexist or exploit labor, despite every example to the contrary

Sanders voulnteer

Anorexics for Bernie. “Sure we’re starving to death on our salaries, but is any price too high to win free lunches for everyone?”

“$15 living wage” Bernie pays his interns $12 an hour. “$15 is for the useless cretins flipping hamburger patties during their empty, dead-end lives”, Sanders campaign chairmen David and Charles Koch told FWIW. ” ‘Bernie’s Soldiers’ are doing something meaningful, and a tiny, $3 premium for that opportunity is simply priceless. In fact, we’ll be charging them for that privilege, right after New Hampshire.”


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Havemeyer sizzles

22 arnold street

22 Arnold Streert

22 Arnold Street, which sold just last May for $1.810, and sold new in 2013 for $1.650, came on the market again late last month at $2.095 million and already has a buyer. The builders made out on this as well, paying just $500,000 for the land in May, 2012 via a short sale.

Listing claims 3,500 square feet, by the way, but that’s 2,600 above ground and the rest in the basement.


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On the other hand …

11 Circle Drive

11 Circle Drive

11 Circle Drive, asking $1,997,500, also reports a contract – I don’t recall ever saying anything nice about this house or its location.


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Told you so

39midbrook39 Midbrook, featured here January 27th when it cut its price to $2.150, reports  contract. If the buyer saw it here, I expect, if not a cut of the profits, at least an acknowledgement by some of my fellow agents who express such anger at this blog, that the publicity it affords can help.


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In deference to Walt, I’ll mention the Steph case

Phil Russel

Phillip Russell (black dress, left) and his client play dodge the hoosegow in Stamford Superior Court

Buddy Hackett’s wife Stephanie has applied for the pre-trial Alcohol Education program (“Drunk ED”), as is the right of every first-time offender of Connecticut’s DUI laws.  Admission is discretionary, but I’m guessing she’ll get in, especially if, as news reports have it, she’ll be shipping off to a residential rehab facility again.

While The Steph is a celebrity, and her attorney, my friend Phil Russell is an extremely abled advocate, anyone, even shoe clerks, can apply for this program, and assuming there are no personal injuries to other persons (telephone poles don’t count), they are usually accepted. No particular special treatment is going on here.


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I always worry about a house that’s thrice the price of its neighbors

28 old camp

28 Old Camp Lane

Still, someone has to be the pioneer. New construction at 28 Old Camp Lane is priced at $3.450 million, while previous sales on Old Camp have just barely nudged past $1 million. Those were old houses, this is new, so obviously it’s apples and oranges, except that they’re all in the same orchard.

That said, the house looks just fine, albeit with a few odd choices in fixtures and a marginal yard, and the builder got the land out of foreclosure for just $560,000, so he’s got plenty of room to adjust his price, if he needs to.

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Don’t you hate dysfunctional sinks like this?

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A year-and-a-half later, the Railroad House finds a buyer

146 Hendrie Avenue

146 Hendrie Ave

146 Hendrie Avenue, Riverside, cheek by jowl with the railroad and directly across the street from the evening beerball games, reports a contract. Originally priced at $4.595 million, it dropped its price $700,000 to a still respectable $3.895, and that seems to have worked.

Decent house, terrible location, but at least the children will develop strong legs climbing the hill to school, assuming children still walk to school.


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What would we do without experts?


Or a hell of a passenger fart

US government security experts: a bomb likely blew a hole in Somali airliner


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No paternity leave, no minimum wage


No, wait! Critical Literature majors can stuff boxes with pretty paper too!

Warehouse robots increase efficiency 800%.

The Locus robot can zip around a clothing warehouse larger than the size of six football fields. It can also work for 24 hours, without a break for lunch or a salary.

The new bot, created by Locus Robotics, just launched in its first warehouse: a Devens, Massachusetts space owned by Quiet Logistics, a warehousing company that fills online orders for both small startups and megabrands like Zara and Bonobos. The robots transport items that have been picked off the shelves by humans, and bring them to the front of the warehouse to be sealed and delivered.

“We developed a system where the robots do all the walking,” Locus Robotics CEO Bruce Welty tells Tech Insider. “As retailers continue to exceed expectation around next-day shipping, they’re going to look to technology to help them provide an even faster turn-around.”

Women’s studies graduates needn’t fear for their job prospects, yet.

As more retailers shift online and promise greater shipping speeds, there’s a growing need to make sure that the orders are not only delivered on-time but also feel personalized. This can be as simple as stuffing boxes with pretty tissue paper or even handwritten notes from the brands — a job fit best for humans.


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Gee, hope this doesn’t happen to me

Juan Thompson

“Well if they didn’t say it, they should have” – Juan Thompson speaks with FWIW

Reporter fired for making up quotes. 

Intercept reporter Juan Thompson was fired last month for fabricating quotes in his articles and creating fake email accounts to impersonate sources.

In a note to readers, Intercept Editor-in-Chief Betsy Reed wrote that Thompson attributed quotes to people who say they had never been interviewed, could not remember being interviewed or couldn’t be found. He created fake email accounts purportedly from some of these sources and lied to his editors.

“We apologize to the subjects of the stories; to the people who were falsely quoted; and to you, our readers,” Reed wrote. “We are contacting news outlets that picked up the corrected stories to alert them to the problems.”

The Intercept has retracted one of Thompson’s stories completely (but has left it up on the website with a note) and made corrections to others. The retracted story involved Scott Roof, the alleged cousin of Charleston, South Carolina shooter Dylann Roof. Dylann made headlines in 2015 when he murdered nine black churchgoers in an attack motivated by racism.

Thompson claimed he spoke to Scott about the shooter. Scott allegedly told Thompson that “Dylann was normal until he started listening to that white power music stuff” and “he kind of went over the edge when a girl he liked starting dating a black guy two years back.”

During their investigation, editors for the Intercept spoke to members of the Roof family, who said they had never heard of a cousin named Scott.

In another story, about Black Lives Matter activists being blocked from a Donald Trump rally, Thompson invented quotes and people. He gave the full name of one of his sources, who told the Intercept that she was not at the rally, was not a Trump supporter and never spoke to Thompson. The Intercept also couldn’t verify the existence of a BLM activist who allegedly provided a quote to Thompson.

For new readers to this site, when I report that a White House spokesman, say, or Dan Malloy “told FWIW”, it’s a damn good bet (alright, it’s a certainty) that neither source actually even knows who I am, let alone would deign to speak with me. In fact, any quote that begins “told FWIW” is intended to be a made up quote, albeit one that reflects the real truth behind whatever lie the politician is question is spouting.

A couple of years ago one of those new readers questioned a quote I attributed to Obama, then wrote back, furiously announcing that every Google search for that presidential quote “came back to this blog!” Hahahahaha



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And kitchen styles change again


The “new” kitchen

Now they’re turning into “man caves”

The rise of foodie culture has made home-cooking more alluring to everyone, and the increase in dual-income families means more men are sharing KP duties. At the same time, cooking has been “recoded” as a macho pastime, said Casey Ryan Kelly, an associate professor of communications who studies gender and culture at Indianapolis’s Butler University. He pointed to the influence of TV chefs such as the Food Network’s Guy Fieri (the channel’s viewership is 42% male overall) and to open-plan kitchens that are half command station, half performance venue. Food prep, Dr. Kelly added, has evolved from “feminine-care labor” into an endeavor imbued with “traits of rugged masculinity: competitiveness, self-mastery, individualism and strength.”

“The kitchen is no longer solely the wife’s domain,” agreed Young Huh, a New York designer and member of a new trend-forecasting panel for the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). And the $18-billion-a-year kitchen remodeling industry is finally responding to these aproned gentlemen in part because, as customers, they put their money where their mouths are. “If a man is in charge of appliance selection,” said designer Anne Rue of Lake Mary, Fla., “the cost of the indoor and outdoor kitchen will be at least 30% more” than if a woman makes the choices.

Men will spend, it seems, but what sort of aesthetic decisions do they make? When a male client drives the kitchen-design process, there’s often an emphasis on “work flow or machinelike efficiency,” said architect James Ramsey of New York’s RAAD Studio. Female clients, he found, lean toward a nostalgic, raised-panel look. “I hadn’t expected it, and I don’t want to come across as typifying men and women,” he added.

In a new survey of industry pros conducted by the NKBA, clean-lined styling was named the top 2016 kitchen trend. What’s in: Flat-front cabinetry, counters with mitered rather than rounded edges, high-contrast palettes and large, simple pulls. What’s (relatively) out: the crown molding, corbels, soft hues, ornate hardware and tiling of Tuscan, French provincial and other traditional styles. Kitchens are “more tailored, more masculine, more streamlined,” noted Ms. Huh, “and that reflects the male drive and participation in kitchen design.”

All of which may be complete nonsense – fashion predictions often are, but it points to what I’ve been noting here for years: nothing dates faster than kitchen and bathroom designs. Do what you want to them to make them work for you, but don’t expect to get your money back – in a few years, your choices will look passe.


And the kitchen of the future


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