Daily Archives: February 9, 2016

On a scale of one to ten, he hit 10


Smoke like a chimney, drink like a fish

In December, 2014, I reported on the case of a Wisconsin man who, pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, insisted that his breath smelled of alcohol because he’d been eating beer-battered fish, not booze. I expressed my skepticism at the time, and today a jury confirmed my doubts, convicting him for his tenth drunk driving offense.

John Przybyla, 76, was convicted yesterday of his tenth drunk driving offense by an Adams County jury that also found him guilty of a second felony charge and a misdemeanor driving with a revoked license count.

Przybyla, seen at right, faces a maximum of more than 12 years in prison on the three counts.

As detailed in a police report, Przybyla was pulled over by a cop in October 2014 for driving erratically. Upon approaching Przybyla, a deputy noticed the “smell of a moderate odor of an intoxicating beverage emitting from his breath.” Additionally, the cop noted that Przybyla’s eyes were bloodshot and glossy, and an open can of Red Dog Beer was on the truck’s passenger seat.

During questioning, Przybyla denied that he had been drinking, and said that he was on the way home after attending a fish fry, where he had consumed “beer battered fish.”

Seems to me that an incorrigible recidivist like this should have been confined behind bars long before his final fish fry.



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Well maybe now some of my colleagues will stop accusing me of single-handedly wrecking the high end market


Nanny day now

Douglas Elliman says there’s a glut,too.

The average sales price for a Greenwich home fell 13 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a year ago, Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report released last week. The luxury home market, defined by the New York-based broker as anything the top 10 percent with the highest asking price, fared even worse, with a decline of 23 percent. In Greenwich, that’s anything listed north of about $4.5 million, including numerous eight-digit outliers like the $26 million former-Mel Gibson estate at 124 Old Mill Road, which has been on the market for well over a year.

“There is an oversupply of luxury inventory in Greenwich,” said Rob Vannucchi, executive vice president for Connecticut at Douglas Elliman. “Anytime supply is greater than demand, pricing will go down, and that’s what we’ve been seeing for some time now … the ultra-high end market is certainly not doing as well as we would hope.”

At the other end of the supply-demand spectrum, Vannucchi said buyers have continued to search for luxury, low-maintenance condominiums, which rose in price about 4.5 percent in Greenwich over the past year. So as luxury detached homes continue to sit on the market, there don’t seem to be enough condominiums in the area to satisfy the demand Vannucchi said realtors are seeing.

Within Greenwich, which is notably divided into sub-communities, some are doing better than others. Cos Cob saw an average price increase of almost 19 percent for single family homes over the past year, and Riverside saw a 12 percent gain. Meanwhile the home prices in Old Greenwich dropped 34 percent over the past year, and they fell 14 percent in Central Greenwich.

“These are continuing trends we’ve been seeing for a while,” Vannucchi said. “Riverside and Cos Cob are definitely more closed-in communities, and in Cos Cob there is an affordability aspect. You can get a lot for your money there.”

This trend has been discussed here, by readers and author alike, for several years now. Discussion of and commenting on a noticeable phenomenon is not causation. D’oh.


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Just like her friends on Wall Street, Hillary has “no idea” why Muslims would pay her this kind of money

Hillary non-supporters

After sampling the evening’s fare of Siri-Payay (goat heads and feet in a zesty stew), disgruntled diners leave Beaumont fund raising dinner

A reader sends along this news story of Hillary’s trip to Texas

Hillary Clinton made a campaign stop yesterday [January 20, 2016 – Ed] in Beaumont, Texas. Only six people were there to greet her. Her security detail outnumbered her supporters by quite a bit. She wouldn’t talk, Wave to or even acknowledge those there to greet her. As bad as that is, it’s not the real story here.

The real story is who she took a private meeting with. After landing, Clinton headed off to a fundraiser in West Beaumont, where she was greeted by around 150-200 Muslims, most of whom were of Pakistani origin. The event was held by Pakistani businessman Tahir Javed and Hillary raised approximately $500,000 by pandering to Muslims, making it “one of the top five private fundraisers Clinton has had in this country.”

In fact, her host got a twofer here: he’s also the CEO of Riceland Health Care and other medical service providers. “I’m pretty sure my new friend Tahir gave me half-a-million dollars because he’s so fond of Yale lawyers”, Ms. Clinton told FWIW, “but I suppose it could be because I’m a woman.”


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Why I could learn to hate prosecutors

Alligator out for a walk

Exercising her rights to free speech and due process of law

They always overcharge. A 23-year-old Floridian found a baby (3/12 ft) alligator on the road, scooped it up, and tossed it through a Wendy’s drive-through booth. So far so funny, but now he’s been arrested and charged with a felony, “aggravated assault”, which in Florida, means a threat to use a deadly weapon against a victim. I’d like to see a prosecutor prove beyond all reasonable doubt that a small alligator is capable of killing a human, and prove that that was the prankster’s intent.

In the good old days – say, 20 years ago – a cop would have driven to the kid’s home, told him to stop being an asshole, and called it a day.

UPDATE: Aha! God bless the Internet, here’s the South Carolina Parks Department’s statement on what size an alligator has to be to be dangerous: 

  • 7-8 feet in size is when alligators can really start injuring people and taking dogs. Most attacks on humans are by animals 9-10 feet or larger.


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Well, maybe

7 Irvine road

7 Irvine Road

7 Irvine Road, Old Greenwich, is new to the market at $4.250 million. That seems way off to me, but these owners did pay $3.750 for it in 2008, so maybe not. There’s about 4,000 sq. feet above ground, a figure that includes the garage, with a 1,500 square foot basement sheltering a nanny, a “gym” and something called a wrapping station: for post-exercise Ace bandage applications? Mummy preparation? Who the hell knows.

5 Irvine sold for $2.8 back in 2013 and, while smaller, is quite similar. That doesn’t explain the $3.750 sale for this one, but it’d give me pause.



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Why do some people have such difficulty in hearing, “I don’t like you”?


“Real” English manors are inhabited by impoverished, unskilled heirs – here’s one such type’s library (the owner’s sprawled on the floor, off camera)

918 North Street, which was last seen expiring unsold at $9.995 million last October, is back again, now looking for $9.450.

It’s been a long slog for the owner/builder of this 2008 house: he started trying to unload it back in 2009, at $16.9 million, and has kept it ever since, changing brokers faster than his asking price. One broker back, the name “Northwood” was tagged on, apparently in the hope that the moniker would infuse the place with a cachet that could draw in Anglophiles – it seems to inspired Anglophobes, instead.

In any event, here’s the latest agent’s description of the place; if the price stays even close to where it is, we can probably expect a few more agents’ attempts at describing this “eclectic style” home well into the next decade.

Privately situated with a gracious approach is ”Northwood”, reminiscent of an English country manor. Throughout the house are magnificent period details, including a grand entry with sweeping staircase, paneled walls, coffered ceilings, leaded glass windows. Both formal and family spaces provide comfortable living with every modern amenity. Exquisite gourmet kitchen, expansive paneled library with bar, master suite with two dressing rooms and formal master bath.


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There, and almost back to the surface

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 3.46.48 PM

They could have saved their money on this sink “upgrade’

6 Carriage Road, Cos Cob, has sold again, this time for $1.475 million. Just to be cruel, I’ve linked to the listing agent’s video tour – endure it if you must. The sellers paid $1.5 for it in 2009, spruced it up and put in some new appliances and relisted it last May for $1.775. That was a little rich for this street (nothing wrong with Carriage Road at all, I’m just speaking of relative price histories0,  and this house, but it’s a decent deal, I think (and so did its new owners, obviously) at this price.


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There and back again

532 North

532 North Street

Or something similar. 532 North Street, originally priced at $5.750 million in 2013, has slowly dropped its price until today it’s asking $4.650 and almost certainly will sell for less. The owners paid $4.550 for it in 2005, put some real money into it, and they’re back where they started.

Nice house, too, which I noted back in 2013. Therefore, the price is wrong – presto ipso loquatious.


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Bad news for her campaign: Hillary is still Hillary


But I’m a woman, damn it! Vote for meeeeee!

This commentary in UK’s Telegraph rings true to me; unfortunately, the very political machine that’s turning off voters in New Hampshire is powerful enough to crush Sanders as the primaries move to larger quarters and I think she’ll still garner the nomination.

Presuming that the polls are right and Sanders wins good, she is in serious trouble….

[H]er underwhelming performance is a sad indictment of what a poor candidate she is. Consider her advantages: money, endorsements, running against an aging socialist who wasn’t even a Democrat until recently, a career full accomplishment and major brand recognition. The problem with Hillary is that the voters know her too well: a majority of voters don’t trust her. Her narrow win in Iowa showed the depths of resentment towards her coronation, while defeat in New Hampshire – the state that rescued her in 2008 from immediate annihilation by Barack Obama – would make matters so much worse.

She is playing from a very old playbook. Take the appearance of a tired, wan Bill Clinton on the campaign trail – attacking Bernie Sanders in the deeply personal way that he once did Barack Obama. Or consider, Hillary’s aggressive courting of the female vote. Her politics is the politics of identity, narrowed down to a very specific constituency: she’s selling herself as the hope of everyday rich white women who want to be president.

What’s missing in the present is a clear policy agenda. Hillary has made the exact same mistake in 2012 that she made in 2008: running on her name rather than a clear agenda. In 2008, Obama was against the Iraq War and the Bush doctrine. Hillary was just running as Hillary. In 2012, Bernie is against inequality. Hillary is, yet again, running as Hillary. Her only theme is herself. And not enough voters like her to make this a winning theme.

I’m hopeful that a national electorate will dislike her enough to deny her office, but in the Primaries, money talks, and Hillary’s the one who’s got it.


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Non sequitur of the morning


“a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.”

Bloomberg says he’s considering run for presidency “because the American people deserve better”.


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