Living Small

Not an econ or markets piece, but I have a soft spot for living small (and well)…

From the Record:

Web hed: On a tiny lot in Jersey City, architects create an affordable, sustainable house
(click for pics)

Hired to design a house in Jersey City, architects Nicole Robertson and Richard Garber faced a tight budget and an even tighter space: a building lot that was only 23 feet wide and 56 feet deep.

And the owner wanted the home to be low-maintenance and environmentally sustainable.

The two solved these problems with a two-bedroom house that combines solar panels, precast concrete and cedar in a geometric shape that cuts energy costs by an estimated 30 percent. It also allows for abundant light and breezes — as well as views of the Statue of Liberty — through large windows.

“It’s a concrete house, basically,” said Garber, who also teaches at the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s architecture school.

Garber and Robertson, a married couple who live in Jersey City and are partners in the New York architecture firm GRO Architects, were recently honored by the American Institute of Architects’ New Jersey chapter for the home. Judges called it “inventive with a limited budget”; the 1,600-square-foot home was built for $250,000.

When the client, Denis Carpenter, approached the pair, he had only a few requirements: the house had to fit his budget, be environmentally sustainable and include a cat door. The architects started by designing a triangular roof facing south, covered with solar panels and tipped 30 degrees to catch the sunlight. With tax incentives and energy savings, the solar panels are expected to pay for themselves within about five years, the architects say.

Another major energy gain came from the use of insulated concrete, which provides a tight envelope around the house. Rather than try to use poured concrete at the site — which is expensive and labor-intensive — Robertson and Garber decided to use precast concrete panels that could be shipped to the site and welded together in place.

The house is in the Greenville neighborhood, next to a tiny, derelict park and a couple of blocks from the light rail tracks. New houses are mixed in with older homes throughout the neighborhood, part of the widespread revitalization of the city in recent years.

The architects see their house as part of that revitalization, and hope it can be a prototype for low-cost, energy-efficient urban infill development.

“We see it as an alternative to a lot of urban frame houses that are less durable,” Robertson said.

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460 Responses to Living Small

  1. Essex says:


  2. Jim says:

    Here is another renovation question. Actually this is a reverse renovation. On our house we have a third floor but will only use the first two floors of the house. We’ll probably just use the 3rd floor for storage. If I remove the two bathrooms from the third floor will it lower my taxes?

  3. Roy G Biv says:

    Number Tree !!!

  4. safeashouses says:

    I do like that concept of living small and well.

    I don’t get this new concept that a room has to have only 1 function. I know people who have separate rooms for media, sewing, reading, toys, etc. When I grew up the dining room table did double duty as the office/study, and the living room was the media, toy, entertaining, and reading room.

  5. Jim says:

    I agree. We have a small ‘office’ that also has all our telephone connections and computer network stuff. The key word is small. I have two seats in there.

  6. Final Doom says:

    Barb (yesterday thread)

    Frog & Peach blows. Food is usually good (the chefs change a lot, since the owner is a chronic a-hole), but the service, pricing and general ambience is nothing to write home about, and prices approach NYC levels.

    The place has gotten the rep of being a place where chefs go to make their bones, then move on as soon as they can.

  7. safeashouses says:

    #2 Jim,

    Give your town a call and find out. Also check with a local RE agent and find out what the resale impact would be. It might be significant, or not.

  8. Final Doom says:

    Gator (yesterday thread)-

    You’d be disappointed with me. I keep my mouth pretty much zipped when showing houses and dealing with the other side. I don’t get my fastball into the 90s until pen goes to paper.

    “Doom – I know you have a policy to never represent folks who post on the boards here, but are you sure you wouldn’t want to represent Stu and I, at least for a day? The entertainment value alone here in Baristaville should make it worth your while.”

  9. Final Doom says:

    Pain (yesterday)-

    FHA shysters will grind sausage until the end. Too bad the market for that sausage is shrinking daily.

    “Clot quick question are the shady FHA guys you know still churning out garbage right up to the end or are they scaling back?”

  10. grim says:

    I don’t get this new concept

    Right up there with $20,000 swing sets.

    You can call me bitter, because I had to ride my bike to the park. But I’d argue that I was the lucky one. How I’d hate to be a prisoner kid today. On with the pussification of the American male.

    Anyone else remember when Tonka trucks were steel, sharp, and rusty? THOSE, were the good ol’ days.

  11. Final Doom says:

    grim (11)-

    I remember making gunpowder bombs with my friends and our parents encouraging us to do it. Someone’s mom or dad would always help us set them off.

  12. safeashouses says:

    #10 grim,

    There are people in my neighborhood who have those swing sets, and there’s a public playground we can walk to in less than 10 minutes. I laugh when we’re a block from a playground and I see 10 to 20k playground sets in someone’s yard. Waste of money.

    I still have my steel Tonka trucks in my parents’ basement. They will be going to littlesafe this summer. Last summer I gave him my matchbox and hotwheels collection from the 60’s and 70’s (many of them were picked up at flea markets for 25 cents each when I was under 8). He ain’t getting the tootsie toys though!!!

  13. #10 – Tonka trucks were steel, sharp, and rusty?

    They were also almost indestructible. I loved my Tonkas.

  14. frank says:

    Congress took away it’s own health benefits. Only in America. Love it.;jsessionid=433F281E1DDBBA5889D5F6813FAEF2CC.w6?a=579569&f=77

  15. Nomad says:

    Interesting how Europeans live in 1,000 sq ft or so and seem to have a decent quality of life.

    In many cases, it seems that the misery level of folks in this country is positively correlated with the amount of stuff one has.

    When I got my first house, the realtor said I qualified for something 3x more expensive – no thanks. Knocked out my 30yr mtg in 9 and boy did I sleep well.

    Growing up I was always envious of the rich kid – today, he still has all the money but he’s flat broke. Never held a job, no self esteem, behavior that rivals a 5 year old. The damage materialism has done to us as adults and the psyche of our children has weakened this country terribly.

  16. Nomad says:

    I still think its going to come out of nowhere briskly but these experts feel otherwise.
    Pimco’s Worah Warns of Deflation Risk During Slowdown (Update1)
    By Wes Goodman and Garfield Reynolds
    April 13 (Bloomberg) — Developed economies face the risk of deflation as growth slows and central banks end programs to revive their financial systems, according to Mihir Worah at Pacific Investment Management Co., the biggest holder of inflation-protected Treasuries.
    Pimco is “underweight” inflation-linked bonds in portfolios that focus on the debt, Worah wrote in a report on Pimco’s Web site. Just last month, Bill Gross, who runs the record-size $220 billion Pimco Total Return Fund, said record budget deficits and sales of government securities will eventually push prices in the economy higher.
    “There is a near-term risk of flipping to deflation given our view that developed economies have not fully healed and consumers are not yet ready to stand on their own two feet,” Worah wrote.
    Worah echoes BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest money manager with $3.35 trillion in assets, which said it is becoming bullish on Treasuries because “there isn’t inflation in the pipeline.” Inflation is poised to slow into 2011, Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said today in an e- mail.

  17. Pat says:

    cf, in your working environment, do you have opportunities to observe differences in savings mentalities between inheritance recipients of varying economic backgrounds?

    I’m curious regarding nature or nuture effect.

  18. Pat says:

    For example, the average exhaustion period (outflow period) for a working class recipient versus upper middle class, etc.

  19. #10 On with the pussification of the American male.

    Also worth noting; you can’t buy toy guns anymore. Clear plastic water guns are still around but that isn’t what I wanted. How are 5 year old boys supposed to play army?
    Sticks just dont cut it after a while.

  20. Mr hyde says:

    Doom. Grim

    How about the chemistry sets that taught you to make black powder and came with sulfuric acid

  21. renter says:


    Downtown Clinton has a store that sells candy and they have a selection of Western toys including toy guns. I can’t think of the name of the store.

  22. cooper says:

    if only real cars were made as well as a tonka truck.

    Doom, on explosions…
    my father built a picnic table (finished weight=250lbs=wood&screws&bolts) that my bro and I would stand up on its end so the top was almost perpendicular to the ground. We filled balloons with free propane (neighbor had a huge tank in his backyard) tacked them on the table and shot flaming arrows from a crossbow we ordered/made from a boys life catalog- the table was char black after the first shot & ours asses were bright red later that night

  23. Housing Purgatory says:

    Question for any of the RE gurus here…
    How does it work (on the contract) when you are asking for closing costs?

    Am I wrong, or are you just burying them in the financing?

  24. reinvestor101 says:

    I, for one, am not going to live in a damn matchbox. I’m not supposed to live like that as I have bigger goals than that. I don’t understand these damn people building small one or two bedroom houses and then get all cramped up when they have some damn kids. Kids need their own damn room and you don’t mistreat your kids by putting them all in one damn bedroom or putting them in bunk beds just so you can brag about being a stinking damn cheapskate.

    Some of you damn people are sick; real sick.

  25. Pat says:

    coop, I bet years later, you could roll cold hawdogs across that tabletop and have them taste grilled…kids are ingeniuos.

  26. cooper says:

    Pat no doubt
    but I didn’t mention the 16 layers of red lead paint my father applied, instead of the hot dog just go for the #2 pencil and sauerkraut

  27. reinvestor101 says:

    No need to become a pantywaist because you can’t get a damn toy gun. There are plenty of other ways to practice war.

    Hell, we used to catch grasshoppers and ants and throw them into a damn spider’s web, sit back and get entertained. Ever try lighting a couple of firecrackers on a damn ant mound? That’s damn good training for torture and explosives deployment which is far more manly than just shooting someone anyway; that’s being a pantywaist if you ask me.

    toshiro_mifune says:
    April 13, 2010 at 7:42 am
    #10 On with the pussification of the American male.

    Also worth noting; you can’t buy toy guns anymore. Clear plastic water guns are still around but that isn’t what I wanted. How are 5 year old boys supposed to play army?
    Sticks just dont cut it after a while.

  28. Final Doom says:

    People seem to forget that lead paint was so ubiquitous because it was an excellent product.

  29. Final Doom says:

    tard (28)-

    Right you are; never forget the wristrocket and potato cannon.

  30. reinvestor101 says:

    I’ll be posting today. Make yourself scarce.

    Pat says:
    April 13, 2010 at 8:01 am
    coop, I bet years later, you could roll cold hawdogs across that tabletop and have them taste grilled…kids are ingeniuos.

  31. cooper says:

    I shot my 1st bird with a wristrocket, all around great weapon… how can you make explosive rounds for a sling shot? mrHyde?

  32. Barbara says:

    Kids really do grow up in a bubble now. I have a soon to be 18 yr old nephew who’s never taken a train or bus into a city, never been to a show/concert…I was busy every Fri and Sat night, work then plans…a party, a concert, a night out at the TLA and hanging out at the diner at 1am….I was all of 15 yrs old! Didn’t get in trouble either, there were things to DO then, places to go.

  33. Final Doom says:

    I drowned my first bird in lead paint.

  34. Final Doom says:

    Barb (34)-

    Yeah, but we didn’t have internet p0rn.

  35. RentinginNJ says:

    Anyone else remember when Tonka trucks were steel, sharp, and rusty? THOSE, were the good ol’ days.

    One of my fondest childhood memories was when they installed sewers in my neighborhood. The dug up our front yard to lay the pipe to the house. For the good part of a summer, we played with our Tonka Trucks in the dirt they left behind almost every day. Of course, when my father got home, he would get p*ssed that we were preventing his grass from growing.

    Last year, I tried to buy a Tonka Truck for a nephew’s birthday. I was disappointed when all I found was lightweight plastic trucks.

  36. Final Doom says:

    A good wrap-up of our current sad state of affairs:

    “In short, consumer and bank debt simply cannot be paid back in a global wage arbitrage economy, with massive consumer and corporate debt and no source of jobs.

    Amazingly, Larry Summers says that problems with healthcare, education, and even long term fiscal deficits are being addressed. That is proof economists are starting to believe their own nonsense on extend and pretend.

    “I think the economy appears to be moving towards escape velocity.” said Summers.

    One thing that has reached escape velocity is Larry Summers’ imagination.”

  37. Final Doom says:

    Even the most genteel of past societies would hang a thieving shill like Larry Summers in the public square.

  38. Final Doom says:

    Bob Rubin and Greenspan would also be publicly executed.

  39. Alap says:

    Reaganism, New Jersey Style

    If you think that Snooki getting socked in the kisser during an episode of “Jersey Shore” epitomizes life in the Garden State, you haven’t been paying attention. The best reality show on television today isn’t running on MTV. It’s in Trenton, where Gov. Chris Christie is offering the voters a dose of Reagan Republicanism—with a Jersey twist.

    When he was elected back in November, Mr. Christie’s victory was thought to augur growing disenchantment with Barack Obama. For the former federal prosecutor, however, his victory was primarily about local disenchantment with New Jersey’s overtaxed economy and spendthrift government. Now he is in the thick of what will probably be the defining moment of his governorship: the attempt to enshrine his vision for the future in the state budget.

    Gov. Chris Christie: “I’m not signing a tax increase”

    Budgets are serious business, but it’s been a long time since anyone in New Jersey has been serious about the budget. This year, gross mismanagement and accumulated fictions have left state taxpayers a $10.7 billion gap on a total state budget of $29.3 billion. Mr. Christie’s answer is simple: “a smaller government that lives within its means.”

    However quaint that may sound, when you have to cut nearly $11 billion in state spending to get there, you are going to get a lot of yelling and screaming. Most comes from the New Jersey Education Association, hollering that “the children” will be hurt by Mr. Christie’s proposals for teachers to accept a one-year wage freeze and begin contributing something toward their health plans. What makes the battle interesting is the way Mr. Christie is throwing the old chestnuts back at his critics.

    Here are a few examples, culled from his budget address, public meetings and radio appearances:

    The children will be the ones to suffer from your education cuts. “The real question is, who’s for the kids, and who’s for their raises? This isn’t about the kids. Let’s dispense with that portion of the argument. Don’t let them tell you that ever again while they are reaching into your pockets.”

    Your policies favor the rich. “We have the worst unemployment in the region and the highest taxes in America, and that’s no coincidence.”

    Why not renew the ‘millionaire’s tax’? “The top 1% of taxpayers in New Jersey pay 40% of the income tax. In addition, we’ve got a situation where that tax applies to small businesses. I’m simply not going to put my foot on the back of the neck of small business while I want them to try to grow jobs by giving more revenue to New Jersey.”

    Budget cuts are unfair. “The special interests have already begun to scream their favorite word—which, coincidentally, is my 9-year-old son’s favorite word when we are making him do something he knows is right but does not want to do—’unfair.’ . . . One state retiree, 49 years old, paid, over the course of his entire career, a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments over his life, and nearly $500,000 for health care benefits—a total of $3.8 million on a $120,000 investment. Is that fair?”

    State budget cuts only shift the pain to our towns. “[L]et’s remember this, in 2009 the private sector in New Jersey lost 121,000 jobs. In 2009, municipalities and school boards added 11,300 jobs. Now that’s just outrageous. And they’re going to have to start to lay some people off, not continue to hire at the pace they hired in 2009 in the middle of a recession.”

    Isn’t your talk of ‘stopping the tax madness’ just another ‘Read My Lips’ promise? “[Mine is] much better than ‘Read my lips.’ I’m sorry, it’s just much better. Much stronger. . . . It’s gonna be how my governorship will rise or fall. I’m not signing a tax increase.”

    In some ways, Mr. Christie can speak bluntly precisely because the state is such a mess. Indeed, that’s one reason he won election in a blue state. The challenge remains daunting: No governor has yet succeeded in turning around a state as overtaxed and overspent as New Jersey. Indiana under Gov. Mitch Daniels probably comes closest, but Indiana was not nearly as bad as New Jersey.

    If he is to survive the headlines about budget cuts and pull New Jersey back to prosperity, Mr. Christie knows he needs to put the hard choices before the state’s citizens, and to speak to them as adults. He’s doing just that. One reporter for the Newark Star-Ledger summed up Mr. Christie’s rhetoric this way: “[F]inally we have a governor who is as teed off as the rest of us at how government spending and taxes have skyrocketed over the past decade.”

    It’s far too early to declare Mr. Christie’s Jersey-style Reaganism a success. But it’s the one reality show truly worth watching.

  40. Confused in NJ says:

    In Brooklyn kids made carpet guns out of wood, which using a heavy rubber band, shot a 1/2 square of linoleum. For heavy duty armor piercing you used the 1/2 inch square metal from the bottom of a church candle. They also made their own scooters, wagons and skate boards out of wood found in lots. Toy Guns back then where more realistic. The Daisy Smoke Rifle, when stuck in dirt could fire a clot of dirt twenty feet. My favorite where a brace of colt 45’s, which used flat circular caps giving you six shots. A lever on the barrel opened the cylinder for reloading. They also had realistic grenades which took caps.

  41. House Whine says:

    Back in Queens, the playground was all metal and if you fell, you fell on blacktop. Toughened me up- these plastic, generic playgrounds which are ubiquitous just don’t cut it. In the summer, the slide was hot as blazes but we dared each other to go down it. The seesaws were awesome, as were the monkey bars. The blacktop may not have been the best idea but I think today’s kids are missing out on a whole of fun. And also, life skills.

  42. John says:

    ChiFi were you awake in B-school? AMBAC up 339% in three trading days!!!!

    BTW Even I am amazed beyond belief.

    Ambac shares set to continue rallyBY MarketWatch
    — 8:27 AM ET 04/13/2010
    BOSTON (MarketWatch) — Shares of Ambac Financial Group Inc. (ABK were up more than 20% in premarket trading Tuesday and were the second on the list of most actively traded stocks behind Citigroup Inc. by share volume, according to FactSet Research. The bond insurer’s shares more than doubled on Monday on heavy trading volume of about 417.2 million shares, compared with a three-month average volume of 21.2 million shares. The stock has rallied since Ambac late Thursday said it swung to a quarterly profit. The stock climbed to $2.81 in premarket action Tuesday, a rise of 339% from Thursday’s closing price.

  43. RentinginNJ says:

    … I had to ride my bike to the park. …On with the pussification of the American male.

    I put a lot of the blame onto 24 hour news. If you ask any parent why they built the $20k playground in their back yard versus letting their kid use the one down the street, you will usually heard something like (sighing) “it isn’t safe like when we were kids; you can’t just let your kid go out anymore in today’s world”.

    I honestly don’t believe the world is any more dangerous than when we were kids. In fact, I would argue it’s probably safer. However, with multiple news stations that need to fill a 24 hours a day schedule, the media turns a kidnapping in Duluth into a sensationalized, round-the-clock story. When we were youngins, a kidnapping in Duluth was a local story. Even then, it got a 5 minute spot on the local 11 o’clock news. Most of the country never heard of it.

    Now, from watching the news, one might get the impression that one’s kid can’t walk safely down the street.

  44. Against The Grain says:

    More kids’ fun:

    Cut a slit in a tennis ball, fill it with gasoline from the gas can dad has for the lawnmower, light it, then play field hockey with it in your yard. Get really scared when someone hits the flaming ball under a car and get in trouble when your parents see the burned trails the ball left in the grass. Good times.

  45. Mr Hyde says:


    Per FBI crime stats children are safer today then almost any other time. Fear makes money, how else do you get parents to buy 20K swingsets?

  46. Mr Hyde says:


    try again.. Fill the tennis ball half way with match heads, the other half with black powder or “napalm”. Careful. It will detonate on impact.


  47. Final Doom says:

    John (44)-

    You will also be amazed when the next big pieces of news on that giant shitpile are a halt in trading, then all the holders of the common getting blown to smithereens.

    I bet this will happen on a very slow, hot day in July.

  48. Mr Hyde says:

    cerain types of match heads wont work.

    I never actually did that, just a hypothetical of course.

  49. Final Doom says:

    Today’s children are defective. Let’s send them all back to the factory and give ourselves a do-over.

  50. #45 – I put a lot of the blame onto 24 hour news

    Completely agree. They sell fear. It was both statistically and demonstrably far more dangerous when I was a kid. You wouldn’t know it though from the news and the environment of terror they sell to parents. You can even get people to agree with you that it is far safer than when we were kids. That doesn’t prevent them from having that gut reaction though.

  51. Final Doom says:

    Of course, I am a parent who has two kids who have to work with a trainer just to keep themselves fit to the minimum standards required by their teams.

    It must suck out loud to be young today.

  52. Final Doom says:

    My 12 y/o began getting the “quit your other sports” speech from coaches over a year ago.

    He picked one and quit the rest just to stop the madness.

    This is sad.

  53. Mikeinwaiting says:


    Some big U.S. banks are pushing back against the idea that they should slash mortgage balances for millions of troubled borrowers.

    In written testimony prepared for a hearing in Washington Tuesday of the House Financial Services Committee, some of the nation’s top mortgage lenders warned of the risks of relying heavily on forgiving principal as a means of averting foreclosures and argued for concentrating mainly on other methods, such as reducing interest rates.

    That may set up a clash with Rep. Barney …

  54. d2b says:

    I blame it all on small familes. I was 1 of 6. If one of us were lost or stolen, they had 5 more. I only have one kid and if he gets lost I will have none.

  55. Cindy says:

    My brother would light one end of his army men then burn ants on the sidewalk. Of course our sidewalk was a mess of green plastic dots stuck all over the place.

    We all made our own skateboards from roller skates. They were an absolute joke. You played ball in the streets and “army” or “cowboys and Indians” with everyone in the neighborhood.
    Our backyard was usually the fort that needed to be defended against the enemy of the day.

    Good times. We literally spent all day outdoors. Now, too many electronic diversions for that.

  56. Anon E. Moose says:

    Doom [11];

    Homemade gunpowder bombs? Its tough being so right so often (see my 183 yesterday).

  57. Painhrtz says:

    Barbara the TLA you philly girl you. fond memories of that joint in college.

    My mother used to get comped ranger tickets at work, at the age of 12 I would get dropped off at the train station with enough money for a hot dog, a soda, and fair back less then 20 bucks. I would see her at 11 when she picked me up at the train station a mile from our house. Did this about 20 times a year, we also played tackle football without pads in the street. Kids today are pansies.

  58. #58 – Cindy – Magnetar was also part of This American Life this week. Good show.
    Once again I have to wonder why a program devoted almost entirely to culture (and David Sedaris) is doing the best reporting on this.

  59. Anon E. Moose says:

    Does anyone have anything to say about Woodcliff Lake? Schools look decent with train access. If I can get a deal, is there anything I’m missing?

  60. Cindy says:

    61 Tosh – Thanks for the heads up. The way the article reads, they perpetuated something that could have been reined in.

  61. safeashouses says:

    I have decided that anytime I need to make an important decision I am going to ask WWJD, What/Who Would John Do?

  62. d2b says:

    Not sure its the kids fault. Most are on lockdown.

    Grim- There was a show on HGTV that was called Small Space Big Style and it featured small housing and apartments.

    We all have too much stuff. Look at companies like Public Storage.

  63. #63 – Cindy – That was pretty much where TAL went too. Could have been reined in, and should probably be prosecuted.

  64. #65 – There was a show on HGTV that was called Small Space Big Style and it featured small housing and apartments.

    for those interested is dedicated to exactly that; small spaces with style and function.

  65. John says:

    we were “bombing” four trains in the bronx at ten clock at night in the train yard getting chased by cops at the ripe old age on nine.

    At age five I used to go bar to bar with my seven year old brother with dads shoeshine kit we swiped to shine shoes and get good tips off the drunks and then splurge on pizza and candy afterwards and get away with it.

    Oh the good old days

  66. cooper says:

    “Fill the tennis ball half way with match heads, the other half with black powder or “napalm”. Careful. It will detonate on impact”
    brilliant- then you could use a 3 person water balloon launcher, sit on roof tops plinking buses

  67. Against The Grain says:

    #69 Wow, the uses we had for tennis balls only had the potential to kill our friends.

  68. Final Doom says:

    tosh (61)-

    Because it is the chief symptom of the degeneracy of our culture.

    “Magnetar was also part of This American Life this week. Good show. Once again I have to wonder why a program devoted almost entirely to culture (and David Sedaris) is doing the best reporting on this.”

  69. Juice Box says:

    At 5 and 6 years old we were playing on the Mosholu golf course and up and down the Van Courtland park, only parents to be seen were the golfers and occasional neighbor who came by to check up every few hours. Back during he 70s the park was full of broken glass during the day and and junkies at night. The cops from 52nd precinct used to chase us out of the park at dusk to keep us safe, and the neighbors would keep a lookout for the kids during the day. We have no problem at 7-8 years old taking the 4 train to Yankee Stadium for a game. I still remember going when tickets were $4.50 for decent cheap seats.

  70. Final Doom says:

    safe (64)-

    Just for the sake of the rest of us, will you go on record as excluding the banging of an onion as one of your possible John-like responses?

    “I have decided that anytime I need to make an important decision I am going to ask WWJD, What/Who Would John Do?”

  71. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [236] [prior thread] Barbara

    “you could have found a similar article in 1987, old news – but cute and Fox newsy, the way you connect it to the bailout.”

    Or 1977, and Carter and the Dems bailing out Chrysler (For the record, Obama is called Carter 2.0, but Carter was MUCH more conserative than Chairman O).

    Now, I hadn’t intended it as you thought, but there is a correlation to the bailout. GM and Chrysler made crappy cars before the bailout, but if it were not for the bailout, they would not be making crappy cars anymore. They would be making no cars.

    For as much pain as the bailout forestalled (for auto workers at least), it merely institutionalized the problem, and perhaps made it worse. I was considering looking at american cars again, but unless it is a ford, you are buying a car built by a de facto government employee, and we all know how well they perform.

    I vote with my feet and my wallet, and my dollars are not supporting the bailout any more than they would otherwise (unless I get a big price break cuz I really did sorta pay for part of a GM or Chrylser car already).

  72. Final Doom says:

    I will buy an American car they day they announce Michigan is being turned into a penal colony.

  73. Final Doom says:

    Every great nation in decline needs a penal colony.

    And no, Gitmo does not fit the bill.

  74. Juice Box says:

    #62 Moose – re: Woodcliff Lake – Right now the Train Schedule sucks…it’s over an hour to Penn Station.

    However when the ARC tunnel opens up in 2017 you won’t need to switch trains in Secaucus. The ride to Manhattan will be an even shorter one too if they actually use the newer trains that do 90 MPH and do express trains.

  75. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [75] redux

    In fact, I had said some time back that Obama wanted to take us back to the 70’s and he has started.

    We are back to the days when Detroit got some protection from the competition, and foisted crappy, union-made cars on the public.

    Now we will be back to checking to see if the GM cars we are looking at were made on a Monday or a Friday so we can avoid them.

  76. NJCoast says:

    When I was a kid we used to pour Clorox down the tarantula and scorpion holes and they would come out fighting mad.

  77. njescapee says:

    70’s Toyotas were pretty bad too.

  78. Final Doom says:

    Failed Greenwich, CT REO; held and allow to rot by a stupid local bank.

    Multiply this story by an enormous factor, rinse, repeat…then try to construct a housing recovery story plausible enough to convince a 12 y/o:

    “14 Baldwin Farms South is a failed spec house funded by the region’s worst bank, Patriot, to the tune of something like $7 million. Take my word for it: this house was never going to sell for its asked-for $9 million, and Patriot had lost its money as soon as it extended it.

    But hey, every house has some value, and last fall I found a buyer willing to bid $3 million for this place. Patriot’s now demoted loan officer, Marty Nobel, laughed, said mean things, and rejected the offer, preferring instead to retain it within Patriot’s troubled [dead -as-a-doornail] assets division, “PinPat’.

    So I stopped by with another client to see it today, just to see how it was getting along, and by gosh, it seems to have suffered burst water pipes over the winter that, judging from the extent of the damage, ran undetected for a long time. Quarter-sawn oak floors have been ruined, ceilings have collapsed, sheetrock is a sodden mess and there is mold everywhere.

    Patriot’s decision to hold onto this property while at the same time deciding to ignore it and let it go to hell is exactly the stupidity I’ve come to expect from this bank.

    When Patriot is finally shut down by the FDIC and put out of its misery, I’m sure that its executives will escape scot-free. Being dumb is not a crime and I don’t think the feds will pursue these people. But looking at the loans they made, I do wonder whether anyone could be that stupid without the aid of a green poultice applied frequently and in depth.”

  79. Final Doom says:

    Everything in the ’70s blew.

    Except Steely Dan and Saturday Night Live.

  80. RentinginNJ says:

    At age five I used to go bar to bar with my seven year old brother with dads shoeshine kit we swiped to shine shoes and get good tips

    Now go home n get your shinebox!!!
    (one of the best lines from “Goodfellas”)

    Sorry, no offence intended, but I couldn’t resist that one.

  81. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [80] NJCoast

    “When I was a kid we used to pour Clorox down the tarantula and scorpion holes . .”

    Where in hell did you grow up?

  82. Veto That - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    Bee-Bee-Gun fights – two pump maximum.

    But at the age of 10, how likely are you to follow that rule?

    Which is why it shouldn’t of been a surprise that i had one surgically removed from my foot.

  83. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [81] escapee

    Compared to later years, yes, but they were also cheaper and cost you less to run them.

    So, you could pay 3K for a car that would rust out in 3 years and cost you 5 cents a mile, or you could go for the rich corinthian leather, and pay 9K for a car that would rust out in three years and cost you 9 cents a mile.

  84. NJGator says:

    Jucie Box 78 – Be sure to add the requisite 5 extra years to the deadline on any NJT project. Have you done so already?

  85. NJCoast says:


    St. Thomas USVI

  86. jcer says:

    If NJT wasn’t a giant clusterf*ck imagine how good the transit could be, most of NJ is very close to NYC and it is pathetic that todays train lines run at the same speed or slower than those from the beginning of the 20th century. It’s 20 fricken 10 can’t our government figure out how to efficiently move the population in the nations largest metropolitan area?

  87. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 86

    I had a friend in school who used to do that with his brother.

    One of them ended up hanging themselves, and the other ended up in prison for knifing someone in a bar fight…..

    Still, they were nice guys most of the time.

  88. Veto That - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    “One of them ended up hanging themselves, and the other ended up in prison for knifing someone in a bar fight…”

    Hyde, Funny you should mention that.

    The kids who started this game in our neighborhood were twins.

    They both made front page of APP by age 20 – each for seperate incidents but both equally wreckless.

    I should have known they were trouble from the first day we went to quick check together and they immediately started playing a game to see who can steal the most candy.

  89. Juice Box says:

    re: #88 – NJGator – Delays kind of like the rebuilding of Ground Zero?

    Although the ARC Tunnel project is funded and with great fanfare last year Corzine did the ceremonial shovel in the ground at the foot of the Palisades NJ Transit has yet to pick a company for the Final Design & Construction of Hudson River Tunnels.

    I would say tack on 5 years.

  90. Juice Box says:

    re #90 – jcer

    NJ TRANSIT ridership under the Hudson has quadrupled in the last 25 years.

    * 1984 10 Million (Annual Trips)
    * 1996 18 Million (Annual Trips)
    * 2008 44 Million (Annual Trips)

    The main reason why the commuter trains suck is the pinch point of the one tunnel they use now. They could in theory add allot of additional trains in and out of NYC with the new tunnels.

  91. jcer says:

    Juice, I understand that the tunnel capacity is insufficient. But in my mind the issue is a bunch of really dumb politicians with no foresight. This infrastructure is very vital to the economy in this area and has seen little investment besides what is necessary to keep the lights on. It was understandable in 30’s-60’s(were unsure about the future of train transit) but into the 70’s and 80’s perhaps money should have been invested(congestion was obvious and Europe had already decided on trains as a solution). Why it took till after 2000 to make plans to build a new train tunnel is beyond me. Why there aren’t express trains from western and central jersey is beyond me.

  92. Juice Box says:

    jcer- A bus company runs the trains, NJ Transit invested in Bus routes in the previous decades. It was actually more cost efficient and easier to deploy. A bus ride to NYC is about 15 minutes longer than the existing train schedules but cost is 10 times cheaper.

    It would have been smarter decades ago to have a separate transit company that focused on Train Transport. Separate budgets and funding and priorities.

  93. Anon E. Moose says:


    Here’s the morning Commute:

    Departure – Arrival Total Travel Time
    06:10 AM – 07:15 AM 65 minutes
    06:53 AM – 07:58 AM 65 minutes
    07:31 AM – 08:28 AM 57 minutes
    07:43 AM – 08:48 AM 65 minutes
    07:57 AM – 09:03 AM 66 minutes
    08:23 AM – 09:29 AM 66 minutes

    If I can get parking at the station as a town resident, I’ll take it. If it stands to get better in 10 or so years, all the more.

    I’m VERY reluctant to buy my commute based on the ‘planned’ expansion of mass transit. There’s no shortage of internet rumors of NJT expansion south to Freehold, or west to Stroudsberg. Pipe dreams, AFAIAC. I’m even relucant to believe this ARC tunnel will be completed before my kids are out of college. Hell, even if everything goes RIGHT, I could sell and move before the scheduled opening in 2017.

  94. John says:

    Final Doom says:
    April 13, 2010 at 10:51 am
    Everything in the ’70s blew.

    Except Steely Dan and Saturday Night Live.

    Even you? Is your name Bob Colacello?

  95. Anon E. Moose says:

    NJT trains just baffle me though. IN a little over an hour one can go NY Penn to Woodcliff Lake, about 16 miles away; to Matawan, about 30 (road) miles away; or to Hamilton, about 50 miles away. And its not all about the stops in between.

  96. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [89] coast

    Wow, didn’t know those were in the VI. I hate large spiders so its a good thing I didn’t know.

    Guess we’ll see you at the next GTG on moko jambi stilts.

  97. relo says:

    11: A kid I know got in, relatively, big trouble for doing something he learned in science class. Hyde would know better, but I believe it had to do with a household cleaning product and aluminum foil. Cops dragged him out of the house at midnight and held him overnight to make an example of him and his friends. No property damage, no malice. Was done outside school, but school got involved too. It does indeed suck to be a kid today.

  98. Mr Hyde says:

    relo 103

    he most likely used the tin foil to make hydrogen gas. It makes a big loud kaboom but is relatively tame in the grand scheme of things. Safer then playing with gasoline filled tennis balls.

    the reaction he ran:
    2Al(s) + 6HCl(aq) → 2Al3+(aq) + 6Cl-(aq) + 3H2(g)

    put an ignition source next to the bottle and when the bottle bursts from the gas pressure you get a loud bang from the following reaction

    O2(g)+2H2(g) -> 2H2O(g)

    Its essentially a common lab demo used in highschool/college chemistry classes

  99. Mr Hyde says:


    What your friend did in his backyard:

  100. still_looking says:

    Doom, 77

    Got Vegemite?


  101. Yikes says:

    anyone know of a reliable metric to compare schools across state lines?

    if you’re comparing high schools schools IN state lines, what factors would you say are the most crucial? test scores? class size? % of kids that go to 4-yr colleges?

    rank them.

  102. Mr Hyde says:


    hydrogen combustion produces one of the louder bangs that will be heard by combustion of simple gases, another reason its a fun demo. It much louder then people expect

  103. Ben says:

    “11: A kid I know got in, relatively, big trouble for doing something he learned in science class. Hyde would know better, but I believe it had to do with a household cleaning product and aluminum foil. Cops dragged him out of the house at midnight and held him overnight to make an example of him and his friends. No property damage, no malice. Was done outside school, but school got involved too. It does indeed suck to be a kid today.”

    As a high school chem teacher, each demo is preceded with a, “don’t try this at home”. The kid did nothing dangerous but people always freak out when they don’t know what is going on. Lighting a gas grill is more dangerous than most demos high school chem teachers do. Unfortunately, people have an image in their head of “oooooooh chemicals bad. Danger”. The worst part of it is, the kid you refer to probably understood the mechanism and dangers pretty thoroughly but trying to explain that to a police officer is futile.

  104. Mr Hyde says:


    Ever do an underwater thermite demo or under a CO2 blanket? Hurray for REDOX

  105. Ben says:

    “Now, from watching the news, one might get the impression that one’s kid can’t walk safely down the street.”

    The safety of allowing your kids to go outside has not changed in 50 years. The danger of you receiving some sort of lawsuit related to your children or someone else’s children has increased an order of magnitude.

    In my old neighborhood, my neighbors found our other neighbors 12 year old girl on their driveway bloody and missing some teeth. She fell on her roller blades. They got her some peroxide and band aids and brought her back to her parents house. Two days later, they got a lawsuit in return.

  106. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde please stop posting chemistry equations, I’m still trying to dislodge a good majority of them from my brain. I would rather not add anymore.

  107. Jim says:

    We used to make gunpowder as kids too. The other ‘fun’ thing we did was go to the local 7-11 and wait for someone to go in. We would then run over to the car and cram a potatoe up the tail pipe and then run back behind the bushes. When the driver came out and tried to start their car it wouldn’t turn over. Suddenly the piece of potatoe would pop out and the car would start. Those were the days….

  108. Ben says:


    Ever do an underwater thermite demo or under a CO2 blanket? Hurray for REDOX”

    Nah. Too intense.

  109. Mr hyde says:


    my AP chem teacher on highschool was one of the best teachers and one of the few truly talented teachers I ever had. He is one of the reasons I went the direction I did.

  110. relo says:


    Kids were in JHS and the underutilized local PD tried to say they were making explosives. Cost the parents $2k in attorney fees to have common sense restored.

    Ket, those kids have got to stop leaving their chemistry books around for you to peruse when you should be mopping :)

  111. chicagofinance says:

    Pat says:
    April 13, 2010 at 7:38 am
    cf, in your working environment, do you have opportunities to observe differences in savings mentalities between inheritance recipients of varying economic backgrounds?
    I’m curious regarding nature or nuture effect.

    Pat: Yes. However the critical element is really the age when the inheritance is received, and whether it provides a boost or a transformation. In most cases you have lifelong workers who have established identities and then at some age over 50 they get a “boost”.

    It is hard to work with people that are in any other situation besides the “boost”. They really tend to be defensible/paranoid about the money. They may try to suck up to me, but they treat the operational staff like trash, and it is bad for the office.

  112. chicagofinance says:

    defensible = defensive

  113. chicagofinance says:

    Pat: no matter what people say or how they act, if you didn’t personally earn the money through your own actions, it is a really bad thing for your ego unless you have a well established identity. It is hard to live it down.

  114. Mr hyde says:


    how about the electric pickle. Or melting gallium

  115. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: Why do you care about the stock price? What impact does it have on your situation?

    John says:
    April 13, 2010 at 8:46 am
    ChiFi were you awake in B-school? AMBAC up 339% in three trading days!!!!

    BTW Even I am amazed beyond belief.

  116. Ben says:

    “how about the electric pickle. Or melting gallium”

    Electric Lemon. We don’t have gallium in our stock room.

  117. chicagofinance says:

    It is the right of way for the tracks. The NEC is almost a straight line. That said, few stops would make a huge difference. Look how few stops the NEC makes.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    April 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm
    NJT trains just baffle me though. IN a little over an hour one can go NY Penn to Woodcliff Lake, about 16 miles away; to Matawan, about 30 (road) miles away; or to Hamilton, about 50 miles away. And its not all about the stops in between.

  118. Painhrtz says:

    Chem class favorite making sodium dance in water.

  119. Yikes says:

    safeashouses says:
    April 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    This house is gorgeous. From the description of the location I think it is in the Liberty Corner section of Bernards.

    Craftsman Colonial with chestnut details at 499k.

    nice lot size, but 1.5 baths? 1 car garage? for 500k? gimmie a break. what growing family can squeeze in there?

  120. Jim says:

    125. Yikes
    That kitchen is totally outdated. I’d expect the kids from the Brady Bunch to walk-in on me at any minute.

  121. safeashouses says:

    #74 FD

    “Just for the sake of the rest of us, will you go on record as excluding the banging of an onion as one of your possible John-like responses?”

    Vegetables and fruits are excluded.

  122. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Yikes 125 I agree on the over priced part, but come on a family of 4 should have plenty of room there.

  123. safeashouses says:

    #125 Yikes,

    2/3 bedroom townhouses across from the VA hospital in Basking Ridge were going for more than that in 2006/7.

    I’d rather buy a craftsman colonial than a mcmansion.

  124. Anon E. Moose says:


    I know, but its the net effect. An hour to Westfield? I can parctically SEE manhattan from Westfield.

  125. Confused in NJ says:

    In Brooklyn we played baseball in the Coal Yards on concrete. Play 1st or 3rd on Concrete with a 6’4″ Polish kid hitting you a grounder at lightning speed. Playing 1st on concrete I used a trappers mitt, on grass (Prospect Park) a claw. Real fun was playing on cobble stone streets which had not been paved with macadam. You were quick or ????. We grew up street wise.

  126. Revelations says:

    Hey all,

    Noticed that last week’s avg 30 yr fixed was 5.25% per bankrate. Now it’s at 5.17% ??

    Who the F is buying this debt now? Dropped in an open house and the realtor and mtg broker tag-team was waving a pamphlet at me showing what our payments would be with 3.5% down on the list price. I can’t believe this cr@p is still being underwritten. The fed isn’t supposed to be buying these loans, so who?

  127. NJCoast says:

    Nom- never got on the stilts although I was in the Carnival parade. Good times. The island was quite different back in the ’60s than now.

    Hyde, Ben, Pain-You guys missed your calling. You should be pyrotechnic engineers for concerts. They have lots of fun.

  128. freedy says:

    palin has made over 12 million since she quit.

    guess she’s not a flipper

  129. Final Doom says:

    hyde (115)-

    Some here might feel he should be indicted. Your endorsement is akin to the Unabomber publicly thanking someone for teaching him everything he knew. :)

    “my AP chem teacher on highschool was one of the best teachers and one of the few truly talented teachers I ever had. He is one of the reasons I went the direction I did.”

  130. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I was researching something else when I came across this gem, from an interview given in 2001:

    “If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be OK.

    But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.

    And that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.”

    Barack Obama

  131. Final Doom says:

    rev (132)-

    Phony & Fraudy are the buyers. Remember, they have boatloads of your cash, the backing of the sweat of your brow and the taste to buy every piece of mortgage-backed paper in sight. In essence, they are the Fed (or, the Fed’s evil cousin).

    Phony & Fraudy’s paper binge should keep rates low for another 5-6 months.

    Doesn’t this make you feel good?

  132. Anon E. Moose says:


    3.5% down: The only way to go.

  133. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Wow, no wonder liberals hate this guy:

    “”The second way government assistance programs contribute to long-term unemployment is by providing an incentive, and the means, not to work. Each unemployed person has a ‘reservation wage’—the minimum wage he or she insists on getting before accepting a job. Unemployment insurance and other social assistance programs increase [the] reservation wage, causing an unemployed person to remain unemployed longer.”

    Any guess who wrote that? Milton Friedman, perhaps. Simon Legree? Sorry.

    Full credit goes to Lawrence H. Summers, the current White House economic adviser, who wrote those sensible words in his chapter on “Unemployment” in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, first published in 1999. . . .”

  134. Revelations says:

    Doom (137),
    Thanks. I didn’t realize they were still on a binge, and thought we’d still see more immediate impact from the fed exit. Well, fanny and freddy imploded and that didn’t change anything, so I guess we need to wait until their sponsor implodes. 40 years of wilderness, indeed.

  135. Final Doom says:

    plume (136)-

    A s0cialist is a s0cialist. Can’t split hairs on that one.

    I don’t doubt for a second his thinking has changed, either.

  136. Final Doom says:

    rev (140)-

    If you sat where I sat, you’d think we were beginning to live the book of Revelations.

    It is so much worse than you can even imagine.

  137. Final Doom says:

    plume (139)-

    Was that before or after he said girls can’t do math?

  138. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [130] moose

    An hour from Westfield to NYPenn is not unusual. If you hit trains right, and no delays, 40-50 minutes, but add in just one nonmomemtary delay, and it is easily an hour or more.

    On the flip side, there is a benefit to the fact that RVLers must change trains: If NYP or the tunnel is fecacked, you can jump on the PATH, which also sucks but it is an option.

  139. Final Doom says:

    Summers = stunade

  140. Mr hyde says:


    so now I’m the Unabomber?

    At least i’m not the sleeper lunatic that Veto is. ;)

    that teacher was a retired engineer that went into teaching.

  141. Mr hyde says:

    Let’s be clear, I have never written a manifesto, have never mailed explosive devices and do not have a math degree or cabin in the woods

  142. jcer says:

    Hmm the PATH, otherwise known as were not really running with normal capacity on a normal schedule because were to busy f’ing up lower manhattan and building millions of unwanted Sqft of office space.

  143. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [143] FD

    It was before he wondered aloud whether women thought differently, and if that might explain why so few women in the profession.

    For which he was roundly castigated by the left for the heresy of stating that the sexes might think differently.

    At least right now, un-PC thinking will only cost you your job. In the future, it will cost you much more.

    BTW, I have had some success in baiting liberals into admitting that they favor re-education camps.

    Trick is not to call it a re-education camp; instead, I ask them if they favor mandatory assignment (by, for example, school prinicipals or judges) of those who use racial epithets or display racist or sexist tendencies to a dedicated facility for the purpose of counseling them on their racist/sexist tendencies, and to help them conform their thinking and behavior to societal norms.

    I usually ask this after I get a general admission that something (nonspecific) must be done about racists and sexists.

    You’d be amazed how many liberals say yes, they agree with that.

    I have not had success with getting them to expand the concept to those that disagree with Chairman O’s policies. Seems that your average liberal thinks that “hate” speech is not only unprotected speech, but punishable, while disagreement with a political figure is protected.

  144. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [148] jcer

    Never said PATH didn’t suck. Just said it is an option.

  145. Juice Box says:

    Anyone know anything about Oceanport? I know Long Branch has dumpy homes, but the waterfront in Oceanport seems decent.

    Here is one that was just reduced. It is in a weird location by the Army Base, near the train tracks.

  146. jcer says:

    Venting my frustration with the PATH as they continue to mess with the service due to the WTC. If it ran to it’s schedule it would be a huge improvement. Again infrastructure seeing limited investment despite increased usage patterns. it took till after sept 11th to get some improvements slated.

  147. Essex says:

    125. I cannot see anything remotely ” craftsman” about that home.

  148. Mr Hyde says:


    My grandparents gave me a book for Xmas when i was in highschool. I read it and thought that large parts of the story were ridiculous as such over the top “redistributionist / proper thought” principles were clearly ludicrous.

    I was wrong. And i am not that old.

  149. veto that - lawrence yun 'the panda' says:

    “At least i’m not the sleeper lunatic that Veto is. ;)”

    hyde, ???
    My bb guns are considered safe in comparison to your tennis ball gas bombs.

  150. Ben says:

    “palin has made over 12 million since she quit.”

    It amazes me that a huge portion of the right wing has gotten behind Palin. During the election, even McCain was fed up with her ignorance. Then, she goes and quits her post as governor.

    She obviously got coached on picking up some new libertarian-esque rhetoric which completely contradicts the nonsense she spewed during the elections and people rally behind her. It wasn’t long ago that she was tripping over her words with Katie Couric about how she thought the bailout was beneficial.

  151. NJCoast says:

    Juice Box-
    My sister lived in Oceanport for over 20 years. Still owns a home there. Good schools. High taxes. Close to Little Silver train station. Close to Highlands ferry to NYC. Sends to Shore Regional High School. Nice little Yacht Club where kids learn to sail on the Shrewsbuey River.

    Horseneck Point is not in what is considered the good part of the town. The crown jewel is Gooseneck Point and area surrounding it.

  152. Mr Hyde says:


    referencing post 86&92.

    just a joke

  153. NJCoast says:


  154. relo says:

    I know he’s not the second coming, but he’s still one of the few I’ve pulled the lever for and didn’t regret w/in a short period of time. Will that be the case by the end of his term? We’ll see.

  155. Jim says:

    156. Ben
    There is currently a lack of leadership in the Republican Party. Give Palin credit. She is playing it for all it is worth and getting some support and raising money.

  156. njescapee says:

    I applaud Palin for hustling. She’ll probably earn $50m before she gets retired.

  157. relo says:

    Not everyone has given up the ghost yet. Lots of these in “sand” states.

  158. Painhrtz says:

    Nom 149-

    How very prolitarian of them. I guess communism and group think are OK if your in charge.

    I don’t know the source but

    “If you are young and not a liberal you have no heart, if your old and not conservative you have no brain.”

  159. safeashouses says:

    #151 Juice Box,

    The high school kids in Oceanport go to Shore Regional. Oceanport has flood zones so you need to check if the house is in a flood zone.

  160. Anon E. Moose says:

    Pain [165];

    It was Churchill.

  161. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:


    Oceanport is nice but they closed Fort Monmouth so one would want to see what the redevelopment plans are before committing. Other than that there is very little water in the Shrewsbury river.

    I think it would be an excellent place for a FEMA prison camp.

  162. Painhrtz says:

    thanks moose that is quote that always sticks with me and I never knew where it came from

  163. Mr Hyde says:

    hey Al

    Check this out!

    Perfect for the coming illuminati wars!

  164. Jim says:

    More great news on the NJ school front. Cross dressing encouraged by our overpaid, undersexed teachers. You can’t make this stuff up!

  165. Final Doom says:

    plume (149)-

    Thanks for reminding me it’s time to brush up on my hate speech. Pretty soon, hate speech will be all we’ll have left. And then, they will come for our hate speech.

    You can’t polish a true gem enough.

  166. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:


    Nice, but a little expensive for my taste. Looks like operation blackjack has been green lighted by the illuminati. I invested in some Iosat potassium iodide tablets. One package in each car and one at home.

  167. safeashouses says:

    Look at this contemporary in Watchung at 499k. I like this one too.

    tiny, dumpy houses on small lots for the area on busy streets were going for more than that at the peak.

  168. Final Doom says:

    jim (171)-

    Can’t wait to see which of the boys’ parents will threaten legal action over their child’s right to wear a corset to school.

    That this kid of stuff even gets dreamed up shows how screwed we are.

  169. Barbara says:

    171. Jim,
    please…..24 hr Fox New attention whoring by bored suburbanites. Sounds like a misunderstanding that 25 years ago would have been cleared up in a single 5 minute phone call, but now all adults are like 14 year old junior highschool drama queens and must tattle to the megaphone of their choice. YAY, LOOK AT MEEEEEEE, SEE WHAT I DID!!!!

  170. Anon E. Moose says:


    Buy for $499k, or rent for $2.5k.

    I love how summertime brings out the flip flops.

  171. Juice Box says:


    Good point about the river level. I was out on a speedboat there a few years back and it was shallow similar to Hampton Bays in LI. I was looking for a place near the Ocean to keep a boat, there is a low bridge there as well that would limit sailboats if I ever wanted one again.

  172. Painhrtz says:

    I for one am looking forward to standing in line for toilet paper

  173. Painhrtz says:

    Hyde Love that web site has a very Dr Strangelove feel to. Of all the models I like this one, it is like the McMansion of bomb shelters, Low REM pass through as well.

  174. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Relo 164 unf**ken believable

    The couple bought their Diamond Bar house for $550,000 in 2006, hoping to finance the purchase by selling their town house in Brea, Calif. — a sale that never materialized, they said, because of the housing crash. The year before, they’d also bought a $340,000 home in Las Vegas as a retirement property, which they rented to a tenant until last year. At the time of the purchases, their only sources of income were workers’ compensation insurance payments and Social Security, but that wasn’t a problem for the lender!

  175. Final Doom says:

    pain (179)-

    I say we allow people below a certain income cutoff access to only giant-sized sodas, frozen dinners, fast food and malt liquor.

  176. Juice Box says:

    Al – another good point Ft. Monmouth seems they put the property out to bid and our old pal Ira Hovnanian seems to have it in the bag perhaps? It seems Oceanport’s Council is fighting to prevent them from building over 700 homes.

  177. Final Doom says:

    mike (181)-

    Yeah, no mortgage fraud there…

  178. Final Doom says:

    Somebody should let Hovnanian build 700 homes. When they fail to sell, it should be enough to finish off that steaming turd of a company.

  179. Mr Hyde says:

    Al 173

    the word is that the larger models are on backorder as various 3 letter agencies are snatching them up like hotcakes!

  180. safeashouses says:


    I missed that. 2nd time I’ve done that in the last few weeks.

    You should have seen the dumps for rent in Warren and Watchung for a bit less than that last year. Alas, I used to live in one.

  181. All "H-Train" Hype says:


    Looks like they added a few more pounds of plutonium into the FHA nuklear bomb.

  182. Final Doom says:

    hype (188)-

    When it finally blows, it’s back to the 17th century for all of us.

    Hunter/gatherer will seem like a sophisticated lifestyle.

  183. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:



    700 homes in that area would be a traffic nightmare nor is there the need for that many homes. Hovnanian has political clout so who knows.


    Hyde, at least we get a front row seat to the show. Someone should set a time lapse camera up on the Watchung mountains looking east.

  184. Final Doom says:

    What can you say about a housing market in which the buyers are either cash investors or first-timers pumped up with FHA ‘roids…fighting each other to buy into an inventory that is at least 50% distress sales?

    That’s not oblivion ahead…it’s a friggin’ apocalypse.

  185. Final Doom says:

    I’d rather get advice from Son of Sam:

    NEW YORK (AP) – Elizabeth Berkley is ready to take your question.

    The actress will be writing “Ask Elizabeth,” a “a self-esteem handbook for teen girls” based on questions she has been asked over the years.

    G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers announced Tuesday that it expects to release the book next spring. It’s an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.

    The 37-year-old Berkley is best known for the sitcom “Saved by the Bell” and for playing an exotic dancer in the movie “Showgirls.” She also appeared in the films “The First Wives Club” and “Any Given Sunday.”

    Where better to look than a washed-up Hollywood skank for self-esteem tips for teen girls?

    At what age is it appropriate to start making a living by shaking your moneymaker?

  186. Final Doom says:

    Speaking of packing the growing time bomb:

    “Worthless Ambac is now the most actively traded stock in the market. The other 4 stocks the complete the quintfecta of most active stocks: C, FNM, BPOP and BAC. The liquidity rebate collecting computers and momentum algos are just having a field day, toying with daytraders. In case you still haven’t figured out how to trade this market, find the most bankrupt companies and load up. You can’t go wrong. Obama and Bernanke said so. 25x P/E (50x if you take out the stimulus)? Who cares. Not the computers. And certainly not Jim Cramer: “The purists out there have spurned these points. I could care less about purity. I could care less that someone might be able to say Cramer likes worthlessness. But the !@#$% animal spirits have it going, and a worthless stock can be worth something if it moves up that much and starts offering equity or bonds against it.”

  187. Final Doom says:

    This time, when the rug gets pulled out, it’s going to be special.

  188. Mr Hyde says:


    We better get some storage tanks to go with our bunker complex:

    “By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day,” says the report, which has a foreword by a senior commander, General James N Mattis.

  189. On the fence says:

    Doom (175):

    I dunno; looks to me as though the parents who are a hair’s-breadth away from suing are the ones who don’t like the proposed project. There are ninnies aplenty on all sides, obviously, but it’s pretty clear that the parents in this article are neurotic tools.

  190. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Doom 193:

    The gubmmint has taken all risk out of investing. It is straight up gambling with the house covering all losses. Why not gamble with the house money. I cannot think of the leverage they are using for this game. I have a chuckle every time a clown from the gubbmint says they are on the lookout for new speculative bubbles.

    I got money in the market but I have my finger on the sell button the minute the fed funds interest rate hits 0.5%. Until then, party on Wayne.

  191. Juice Box says:

    re: #195 Hyde buy your chevy volt now or be priced out forever.

  192. Mr Hyde says:


    Nah, I got plent of room for oil stockpile sin my 8,000 sqft bunker, about 3 years worth at last count. Besides i can always process human fat down to bio-diesel.

  193. Jim says:

    B.O. is currently on CNN taking questions about how he is going to disarm the US of nukes and leave us defenseless. We are truely doomed. This guy is the second coming of Jimmy Carter who talks better and dresses better.

  194. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [170] hyde

    Amazing. It’s a freaking underground nompound.

    BTW, never got any love for my joke about kibbutzes as jewish nompounds, or as I called them “shalompounds.”

    Thought it was pretty witty. Guess not.

  195. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [200] Jim

    Actually, I disagree.

    The more I re-learn about the Carter presidency, the more I come to the conclusion that Carter was a Republican compared to Obama.

    And I believe that a detailed comparison of each administration would bear that out.

  196. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [202] jet propulsion,

    I like the CAT 25. Most bang for the buck.


    I know that gasoline doesn’t store long term, even with stabilizers, but what about other distillates?

  197. Mr Hyde says:

    Nom 201,

    An EC32-4 with attached EC32VG, would make a cozy little nompound.

  198. Juice Box says:

    Jim – Should be interesting to see how far the tide of support will turn on this one. He may have just lost any chance of a re-election bid like Carter and Bush I did by losing support. If he presses forward with world wide nuclear disarmament other allies won’t be too happy. There is another nuclear rouge state that did not show up to the summit, and their national language is not Persian.

  199. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    A couple of additional stories which show that the Dems are moving swiftly to bar the doors:

    “Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sends Malta, New Zealand Tax Accords to Floor

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee April 13 sent U.S. tax accords with Malta and New Zealand to the full Senate for ratification.

    Members voted the treaties out of committee with no objection, with Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) calling both pacts “straightforward” and saying there was nothing out of the ordinary in the agreements.

    The vote sends to the Senate a new treaty with Malta and a protocol to the existing U.S. tax treaty with New Zealand. The Malta agreement includes a comprehensive limitation on benefits article that takes into account unique features of that principality’s tax system and is specifically aimed at stopping treaty shopping.

    The New Zealand accord contains significant provisions on dividends, interest, royalties, taxation of income from personal services, anti-abuse provisions, and exchange of information for tax purposes. The Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on both pacts in November 2009.


    IRS LMSB’s Danilack Predicts Scrutiny of Offshore Compliance, Transfer Pricing

    Transfer pricing, withholding for nonresident aliens, and offshore compliance will be a major focus of scrutiny for the Internal Revenue Service in the global arena, new Large and Mid-Size Business Deputy Commissioner (International) Michael Danilack said April 13.

    A key issue under that third category will be implementation of newly enacted reporting and disclosure provisions for foreign banks, Danilack said, noting that IRS plans to work on guidance in stages. He said the agency will offer taxpayers a look at how it expects that process to work “in the near term.”

    Speaking at the Tax Executives Institute’s 60th midyear meeting, Danilack emphasized that IRS generally will be working to focus its efforts on the areas of greatest risk, with key goals of consistency and certainty. “We have to make sure we’re not wasting time chasing after issues that do not represent the highest compliance risk,” Danilack said. “We have to find a way forward that does not involve proposing large adjustments for foot faults that are just oversights.”

    In the area of withholding for nonresident aliens, Danilack said IRS plans to step up its enforcement efforts, acknowledging the issue is “very complex.” He said there will be an effort to look at nonfinancial multinationals, as well as a focus on U.S. withholding agents and financial intermediaries. Addressing transfer pricing, Danilack said IRS still is in the pilot phase of its work in building a transfer pricing practice within LMSB, stressing that a driving principle will be the elimination of “pockets” of expertise and bringing together a range of resources into one focused team.”

  200. Mr Hyde says:


    we also need a EC32-8-VEM-SS78 BAT CAVE

    Depends on the distillates. I would store both diesel/gasoline and propane. propane and similar gaseous fuels have an almost unlimited storage life. Of course in a bunker special precautions would be needed if storing gaseous fuels.

  201. Mr Hyde says:


    our nompound should run about 2.5-3 million. Want to split it 50/50?

    with capacity of r 50 people and 24 months offgrid we can each bring a few friends ;)

    Hey AL, you want in on this?

  202. jpl says:

    And installation pics, in case you didnt catch the link…

    Including a Cat 25 swinging from a crane.

  203. Mr Hyde says:


    Think Gates/buffet and friends have one of these?

  204. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [156] ben

    Actually, I would take issue with the assertion that she quit as Alaska governor. In truth, she was forced out.

    Recall that she signed a law in Alaska that permitted virtually anyone to file ethics complaints for every possible perceived foible. All were investigated, and the accused bore his or her own expense. Democrats quickly figured out that they could pile on and essentially bankrupt Palin in this fashion. When she quit, she was spending more on legal fees than she was making, thus she was actually paying to be governor.

    Not a sound financial decision.

    Now here is a prediction: When the dems assume exec. and legislative power in Alaska (if they haven’t already), they will change the law (if they haven’t already) so it cannot be used against them in the same fashion.

  205. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [209] hyde

    Back of envelope stuff. I assume prices are not inclusive of istallation, which would be expensive, but if it does, then you are looking at adding anywhere from 50K to 100K per family to the cost of a nompound.

    I would consider it, but only for minimal shelter as a panic room in case of raids in order to keep the cost down.

  206. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [211] hyde,

    Well, someone has them. Those were not military installations. First, they did not look like base areas. Second, if they were, would the military allow the contractor to take and post pictures?

    Gates and Buffett have very fast jets to take them to their private islands. That said, I would not be surprised if a number of houses of the wealthy have them.

  207. Mr Hyde says:

    Nom 213/214

    it could make a nice sub-basement panic room.

  208. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [215] hyde

    That’s the idea (in fact I had taken panic room out of my post)

    Apparently the owner is also aware of the nompound concept:

    “Welhaf acknowledged that, for financial and logistical reasons, buying and installing an underground disaster shelter isn’t feasible for everyone. Because of that, Green Eye Technologies is launching a shelter community database where groups of families can connect with each other to pool their resources and purchase one cooperatively.”

    This guy is in Southampton, a town I know very well. I should look him up.

  209. SG says:

    Foreclosure Properties May Take 5 Years To Be Absorbed Into Market

    foreclosure shadow inventory
    The shadow inventory of homes and other residential properties exceeds 6 million, which will prolong the recovery of the U.S. housing market. The inventory of properties that have not yet been completed as foreclosures, but are under distress represent a growing inventory to be absorbed by the market.

    Bank servicing companies have added staff and upgraded computer systems to handle the record volume of foreclosures. But they are running as much as 30-months behind in some areas of the country, particularly in hard hit California, Florida and Nevada. As a consequence, the time it takes to get foreclosed properties to the market and re-sell them has been delayed.

    Housing Predictor analysts project it will take at least another five years for the shadow inventory of foreclosed properties to be absorbed by the market. For home buyers there will be plenty of deals as the shadow inventory is marketed and sold off.

  210. SG says:

    Double-Dip in Housing Will Drag Down Economy

    Serious delinquencies for single-family mortgages continued to rise in January. Tracking the S&P 500. New home sales declined again in February. Yields rise on a second weak US Treasury auction with the 7-Year note on the docket today. Gold tests my quarterly pivot, Crude Oil approaches my monthly pivot yet again, and the euro breaks below 1.34.

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) shows that serious single-family mortgage delinquencies increased again in January.

    * Subprime ARMS delinquencies rose to 42.7% from 40.8% in January vs December
    * Subprime Loans rose to 30.6% from 28.7
    * FHA Loans rose to 9.4% from 8.7%
    * All Loans rose to 9.7% from 8.9%
    * Prime Loans rose to 7.0% from 6.3%
    * Fannie Mae (FNM) Loans rose to 5.4% in December from 5.3% in November
    * Freddie Mac (FRE) Loans rose to 4.0% in January from 3.9% in December

  211. Barbara says:

    the shadow inventor IS NOT being sold off..its being left to ROT. I live next door to one of these, bank isnt moving on price or on a new estimate that they claim is in the works. There it rots. At this point I don’t see any real pressure for banks to unload these properties at a loss. I predict there will be some novel actions taken by local municipalities that makes headlines and maybe your average idiot homeowner/buyer will take notice and pressure banks to turn this crap over already. Maybe.

  212. Mr Hyde says:

    Barb 219

    For what % of the shadow inventory is it too late? How many of those empty homes already have water damage, mold, general decay that has rendered them virtually worthless. Every season that passes adds to that #

  213. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:



    More like the 14th century after the failure of the Lombards banks. Bring forth the dark ages.

  214. Barbara says:

    exactly. Local municipalities need flex muscle with these banks. Kind of like the homeowner threat, only now its coming from city hall . “Hello, we understand that you now have possesion of the deed at_______and we are letting you know that there is at this time 25k in fines and summons and we will continue to issue these until the problems are fixed. These will accumulate and no sale will go through until they are paid in full (liens) etc etc.

  215. Jim says:

    220. Hyde
    The ones that are in warm weather areas like Florida are in trouble I’m sure. It only takes a short time without the air conditioner running it get moisture build-up and mold starting behind drywall and in the carpets.

  216. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [222] barbara

    I think that they should be careful what they wish for.

    Given the limitations that banks have on how long they can possess REO, and other pressures from the administration, they may be motivated to dump the properties off on the municipalities, especially in the hardest hit areas economically. Thus, Cleveland and Detroit could wind up as owners of a sizeable portion of houses there.

    Imagine that a crapshack in Detroit quicky racks up 100K in fines, far more than the bank will ever get, and the bank records a deed in lieu of payment to the city. Heck, doesn’t even offer it to the city, just records the deed and sends it to the assessor. Don’t know if that gets them off the hook, but boy, will that ever kick the hornet’s nest.

  217. Barbara says:

    224. I’m talking about better municipalities like Haddonfield, Montclair, etc. Whether its a ghetto or a nice train town, banks are holding tight no matter what. I’m sure if Haddonfield, with a 10 ranking for schools, got into the real estate biz due to agressive fines, they would clean up nicely. You’re using an extreme example. Those cities are toast no matter who does what.

  218. Yikes says:

    have we been over this racist incident in NJ?

    similar to the one in Walmart last month

  219. Mr hyde says:


    the only place homes won’t decay rapidly is the desert southwest


    heads, the banks win, tails, the town loses.

  220. freedy says:

    hey, its the spring selling season. don’t
    they rush to buy these places? afterall,its north jersey, close to NYC.

  221. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [224];

    That’s a win for the post apocalyptic places like Detroit, no? They can literally raze whole blocks, consolodate services/colapse borders (which I think was floated at one point any way), and hold clear title to the land to sell or develop at a later date. Better and cleaner than eminent domain, and they have a damn better case of claiming ‘blight’ than New London ever did against Kelo.

  222. NJGator says:

    Nom 201 – I have a name the future day care you’re going to run. How about ‘Uncle Nom’s Compound’?

    How old will the kids have to be before they start target practice?

  223. Nomad says:

    As for Detroit, Mayor Bing has already proposed moving people together in specified sectors of the city and leaving other parts in fallow.

    With the big 4 banks taking a $30B earnings hit this year on home equity loans, will they dump some of their business units to raise some $$$???

    Will BOA dump their Balboa/Countrywide insurance unit?

    Lastly – those underground shelters – what if I just sneak up on them and use some duct tape to cover the air vents? Are you installing them in a large plot of isolated land with various mechanisms of securing the land? Does dad hang out with an M-16 to guard the perimiter whild the kids sleep? Also – if the world above is getting hammered, how do you get TV or radio reception?

  224. veto that - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    “the shadow inventor IS NOT being sold off..its being left to ROT. I live next door to one of these, bank isnt moving on price or on a new estimate that they claim is in the works. There it rots”

    Barbara, again you nailed it and let the truth rip. And im pleased you did.

    All these news articles dont match what i see either. Foreclosures might be flooding the markets in AZ, CA and FL but NJ is a totally different reality at this point.

    There are 5 foreclosures that i know of in my town alone. not one of them are for sale. They will continue to sit. Quietly.

    All this talk about foreclosures coming onto market is a dream in nj. I haven’t seen any foreclosures and dont expect to.

    Govt will do everything in their power to keep those foreclosures from pushing down prices further. The responsible people will not be rewarded at all costs.

    The only way govt will help anyone is if they first drown soak personal balance sheets in debt levels so high, that they can barely make it from one month to the next without being tempted to slit a wrist.

  225. Final Doom says:

    All over now but the crying. Shadow inventory, false recovery, Phony/Fraudy/Ginnie plutonium reaching critical mass, cc defaults, walkaways, ABK as #1 traded stock by volume, false flag, get ready to kill Iranians.

    You nailed it, Al. More like the times after the failure of the Lombard banks is a pretty damn apt analogy. Makes me glad I kept going to that European history class with five dorks like me and a professor that smelled like cat food soaked in gin.

  226. Final Doom says:

    Where is booyah when we need him most?

  227. Mr hyde says:


    he’s on a beach with a rum swizzle

  228. Final Doom says:

    Mmmm. I enjoy watching Glee and eating ice cream.

    It will be so painless when they stick the needle in my arm.

  229. Final Doom says:

    Just take a deep breath; don’t fight it…just like a rum swizzle marinade bathing my brain.

  230. Final Doom says:

    Good attention, bad attention; it’s all attention.

    I’ll take that beating now, please.

    Just let me gorge myself on ice cream and watch Fox while you’re doing it.

  231. Juice Box says:

    doom -stfu already some of us love prime time.

  232. Final Doom says:

    One good thing today!

    (ESPN)– Newcastle all-but secured the Championship title as Kevin Nolan’s brace gave them victory at Reading.

    Nolan struck twice before the break to take his tally to 18 for the season and put Chris Hughton’s side nine points clear of second-placed West Brom with just three games left.

    The Magpies also boast a superior goal difference so have one hand on the Championship trophy.

  233. Final Doom says:

    Juice (239)-

    I also really like Casey Kasem’s American Top 40. It’s really groovy, and I get to hear all the hip new tunes as they come out.

    I especially like the dedications. The way Casey reads them is heartwarming.

  234. Final Doom says:

    I am an Antichrist…I am an anarchist…

  235. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Iran: ‘If Attacked, We Will Nuke America’

    “This warning, along with an announcement that Iran would join the world’s nuclear club within a month, raised the pitch of Iranian anti-US rhetoric to a new high Tuesday, April 13, as 47 world leaders gathered in Washington for President Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit. The statement published by Kayhan said: “If the US strikes Iran with nuclear weapons, there are elements which will respond with nuclear blasts in the centers of America’s main cities.” For the first time, debkafile’s military sources report, Tehran indicated the possibility of passing nuclear devices to terrorists capable of striking inside the United States.”

    More like Israel attacks Iran then Israel false flags America. I think it was George Green that said once the war in the Middle East gets started “Thats the time to leave America.”

  236. Final Doom says:

    Please don’t attack Iran during primetime. They will pre-empt Glee, and I will be sad.

  237. Juice Box says:

    Doom – Join me in the UK next month for Arsenal. I guarantee you will have a new perspective if you see the game in an Irish pub wearing the read and white.

  238. relo says:

    Tremblay just nuked Matusz’s W against the Rays. F’er.

  239. Final Doom says:

    juice (245)-

    Thanks for the invite- and I admire the Gooners and Wenger- but I’m a Geordie fan all the way since they blew the 12-point lead in ’96. For me, guys like King Kev, Shearer, “Killer”, Asprilla and the rest of The Entertainers are everything football is supposed to be. I can’t think of any team more fun to watch (except maybe Wimbledon in the late ’80s or Barca right now) and easier to root for.

    Of course, we will come back to the Prem next year and spend all 38 fixtures in a relegation battle…but, then again, they could be 15 points clear at Christmas and bring back King Kev yet one more time…

  240. chicagofinance says:

    242.Final Doom says:
    April 13, 2010 at 10:04 pm
    I am an Antichrist…I am an anarchist…

    The end is nigh….
    APRIL 8, 2010
    Former Sex Pistols Manager Malcolm McLaren Dies at 64

    LONDON —The former manager of the Sex Pistols and one of the key figures of the punk rock era, Malcolm McLaren, died Thursday, his son said. He was 64.

    The multitalented Mr. McLaren rose to fame as the colorful manager of the Sex Pistols, but the art college dropout is also known for the infamous clothes shop he opened on London’s King’s Road with his then-girlfriend Vivienne Westwood in 1971.

    The shop changed its name and focus several times, operating as “SEX” and “World’s End” and “Seditionaries” at various times before she and Mr. McLaren split.

    Music journalist Jon Savage, who wrote “England’s Dreaming,” a history of the Sex Pistols and punk, said that “without Malcolm McLaren there would not have been any British punk.”

    “He’s one of the rare individuals who had a huge impact on the cultural and social life of this nation.”

    Although the Sex Pistols broke up after only one album, 1977’s “Never Mind the Bollocks,” their rebellious antics and raucous music would set the bar for bands to come.

    Their bassist, Sid Vicious, died of a heroin overdose in 1979 after he was accused of killing his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, in New York City in 1978.

    Mr. McLaren’s career in music wasn’t limited to managing the Pistols. He also had a solo career in which he blended genres and acted as a kind of music curator. In the early 1980s, he had key songs in hip-hop, including the hit “Buffalo Gals,” and bringing different textures to the developing genre; in his career, he worked in electronica, pop, even opera.

    In addition to music and fashion, Mr. McLaren also dabbled in journalism and filmmaking— working in Hollywood with directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg.

    Mr. Corre, his son with Ms. Westwood, would continue the family tradition of blending shock with success, co-founding designer lingerie chain Agent Provocateur, which sells its risqué, high-end wares across the world.

    Mr. McLaren is survived by Mr. Corre and by his longtime partner Young Kim.

    Mr. Corre said that while funeral arrangements have yet to be made, McLaren had wanted to be buried in north London’s stately Highgate cemetery, near where he was born.

  241. chicagofinance says:

    The Philadelphia Flyers are expecting a sell-out crowd at their arena Tuesday—and they don’t host a playoff hockey game until Sunday. Fans can get a free screening of the documentary “Broad Street Bullies,” about the 1970s-era team that won two Stanley Cups and in the process dislodged enough teeth to fund Main Line dentists for years. Many of those “bullies,” including superstar Bobby Clarke, above, are expected at the screening.

    —Reed Albergotti

  242. chicagofinance says:

    APRIL 13, 2010
    The Case of the Soccer Con Artist
    How a French Impostor Nearly Got a Job With a Top Pro Team
    Last summer, CSKA Sofia, the winningest soccer club in the history of Bulgaria, invited an intriguing prospect to train with the team. The player, a Frenchman named Greg Akcelrod, had been climbing the ranks of European soccer, signing with a top-flight Paris club and training with a team in Argentina. He had an agent and a Web site that showed him scoring a goal for the English club Swindon Town. He’d even been chosen as an ambassador for Lance Armstrong’s charity.

    But after a few days of watching Mr. Akcelrod flail about on the pitch, the team started to fear that his credentials had been faked. A spokesman says it became clear that the Frenchman was “not a real footballer.”

    “If I lied a little bit on my CV, I am sorry—but I never took one euro from anybody,” says Mr. Akcelrod. “My only concern was to have a chance to show I can play at the top level.” He adds: “I am just like 99% of my friends in France, who say on their résumé they can speak fluent English,” he says. “In reality, they can’t even count up to three.”

    What’s surprising is that the 27-year-old events promoter not only managed to convince many people he was a legitimate player, he came about as close as an amateur can come to making a real pro team. And all it took was a lot of talk and a crude Web site with video clips and press clippings.

    That this could happen says a lot about the sprawling and decentralized nature of European soccer. Unlike leagues in the U.S., where there are minor leagues, college teams and drafts, soccer is a mix of national leagues and divisions with no central governing authority.

    The Professional Football Players’ Observatory in Switzerland catalogs characteristics of about 10,000 pro soccer players in more than 450 clubs and 30 countries in Europe. Keeping track of them is beyond the capabilities of all but the richest clubs. There’s a general fear that the next great star is out there for the taking. “You get hundreds of players recommended to you each month,” says Ray Clarke, former chief scout at Glasgow Celtic. “Half of them just go on file, but you don’t want to be the man who turned down the next Ronaldo.”

    Mr. Akcelrod’s tale began 10 years ago, when he was playing for Becon les Granits, a district-league club on the edge of France’s Loire Valley. Instead of waiting for scouts to discover him, Mr. Akcelrod set about getting their attention. He says he auditioned for semipro teams after alerting them to a successful stint at Racing Club de Paris—but says he neglected to mention he’d only trained with its junior team.

    Three years ago, he took part in a charity exhibition game at Bournemouth, a club now in the fourth tier of English soccer, and later nabbed an invitation to a trial game for free agents. He scored in the match, but a watching manager told reporters at the time, according to press reports, that Mr. Akcelrod couldn’t cut it in English soccer. The interview never made it on to Mr. Akcelrod’s Web site—only the goal did.

    When he’d returned to France a couple of years earlier, online reports surfaced that Mr. Akcelrod had signed for Paris Saint-Germain. Sure enough, pictures Mr. Akcelrod says he posted on his Web site showed him in an authentic PSG jersey at the club’s stadium. No mention was made that he’d really joined the club’s amateur team, which plays in front of a few dozen spectators (A PSG spokesman says the team had never heard of him).

    Last year, when he bought a $1 yellow wristband in support of Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong charity, Mr. Akcelrod says he put out a fake online news release that claimed he had been chosen as an ambassador for the cause on account of his celebrity.

    In June 2009, according to a team spokesman, CSKA Sofia’s then-coach, Luboslav Penev, got a call from an agent who advised him to offer a trial to Mr. Akcelrod, who’d been training with Tigre’s reserve team near Buenos Aires. “We don’t take a lot of players on trial like this—maybe two or three per year,” says CSKA Sofia spokesman Vladimir Roupov. “But we wanted to add some new players.” After a couple of days, Mr. Akcelrod says a CSKA supporter contacted a Paris Saint-Germain fans’ Web site for information on the recruit and was told that the French fans had never heard of him.

    CSKA offers a different version of events. “The manager realized very quickly that he wasn’t a good player,” Mr. Roupov says. Mr. Akcelrod’s stunt has turned him into a minor celebrity in France, where the press has picked up the story. He claims he has a chance to appear on a reality show and is in talks to write an autobiography, but he declined to offer specifics.

    He also hopes his fame helps him land a job in soccer. “In terms of marketing, I am someone very, very valuable,” he says.

    Write to Jonathan Clegg at

  243. chicagofinance says:

    Lawmakers Have No Plans to Extend Homebuyer Credit (Update1)
    Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A By Brian Faler

    April 13 (Bloomberg) — An $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers expires at the end of this month, and U.S. lawmakers have no plans to extend it.

    “That’s not on the table,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, the chamber’s top tax-writer, said today in Washington.

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    Nor is the tax break’s chief Republican sponsor demanding an extension. “I said when we passed it before that I would not come back to the well and I’m not going to,” said Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

    Congress offered the break as part of President Barack Obama’s $862 billion economic stimulus package enacted in February 2009. Lawmakers renewed the program in November and expanded it to offer a $6,500 break to homebuyers who have owned their prior residence for at least five years.

    About 1.8 million Americans had claimed the break through Feb. 20 at a cost of $12.6 billion, according to the Treasury Department.

    Baucus said there’s little appetite among lawmakers to continue the benefit when the federal budget deficit is projected to reach about $1.5 trillion.

    “It’s competing with so many other popular provisions and we’re getting to the point where more and more provisions have to be paid for,” said Baucus.

    Dodd said he told colleagues the previous extension was a “one-time deal,” and “we shouldn’t play games with our colleagues by getting this and then trying to extend it.”

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