Re: Wealthy Homes

1

Speaking of wealthy homes, has anyone seen "Queen of Versailles"? Amazing movie...I love documentaries, you can't make that shit up.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:41 AM
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Toronto's a good place to film such a thing, because as far as I can tell the Canadian housing market is a lot like the US's circa 2003. (Cue Canadian b-i-l equivalent explaining why the Canadian housing market could never possibly crash. I dunno! Maybe!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:41 AM
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Toronto is expensive!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:42 AM
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Some of the houses are smaller, in expensive locations, but a fair number of them are in suburban sprawl locations - 2000-3000 square feet, newish looking homes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:44 AM
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Also I learned that renovating your basement will always wreck your budget. I felt kind of bad for the designer whenever someone wanted a finished basement.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:45 AM
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B-i-l lives near Toronto in a town that is home to a big company (after whom everything in the town is named) whose future is . . . not so bright. He just bought a teeny house for a shit ton(ne) of loonies. Luckily he had just sold a teenier house in a very non-posh suburb of Montreal for way more than he paid for it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:46 AM
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They're presented as relatable, average families, and their list of housing demands is presented as what they need to get by, not to live a life of luxury.

I tend to think of this as the main point of all HGTV shows.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:47 AM
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Probably so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:48 AM
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A yard with an aesthetically displeasing swimming pool would drive me fucking insane. Can I admit that?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:49 AM
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He just bought a teeny house for a shit ton(ne) of loonies.

I literally read this and thought at first that you were describing the process of founding a private asylum in a very insensitive way, and that the project sounded like a poor idea to begin with, if the house was so small and the number of prospective inhabitants so large. Took me a couple of minutes with my head cocked to one side to remember how Canadian currency works.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:51 AM
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It would drive me nuts too...but so I just wouldn't have bought that house. They only moved last summer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:51 AM
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10: Ha! No, they are very sane and nice and well-behaved: Canadian.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:52 AM
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Maybe I'm being Country Mouse and not appreciating the general cost of living someplace like Toronto.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:54 AM
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A finished basement was a big NO for me when we were looking at houses. Good to know they were also all probably horribly expensive for the people who enacted them.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:55 AM
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How come it was a deal-breaker?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:56 AM
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Having never lived anywhere where they were common.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:56 AM
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Maybe I'm being Country Mouse and not appreciating the general cost of living someplace like Toronto.

It's true that where you live has tended to sound roughly free to me (not that where I live now is exactly Palo Alto).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:57 AM
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How come it was a deal-breaker?

I find them hideous and depressing, and you just know they will flood someday. Moldy mold mold.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:58 AM
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I would be secretly thrilled to buy a house whose basement was finished in the days of "put a full bar down there! with taps!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:58 AM
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(But who wants to hang out in the basement?)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 11:59 AM
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13: I believe the extremely modest home of b-i-l cost about $500k. (Is the Candadian dollar still basically at parity with the US?)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:00 PM
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Finished basements are the shit. Six bedrooms in a 1400 sq ft footprint!


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:00 PM
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Finished basements have a deleterious effect on children. They never learn to confront and overcome the fear of Basement Spiders and Silverfish.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:01 PM
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Existing water damage was a huge, common budget-buster, and the home-owners were always outraged. Otherwise there'd be tree roots running through the pipes, or pipes hooked up illegally, or a heating unit that had a recall on it that was so old that the recall could no longer be used, but it had to be replaced, etc. Always always major unexpected costs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:01 PM
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The best part of any HGTV show are the reveal scenes. I've never seen so much joy in my life (except perhaps watching The Price is Right).

I wonder if they are rehearsed.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:02 PM
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They never learn to confront and overcome the fear of Basement Spiders

Oh, those spiders are still around, at least in this state. Being up on the bench here means the flooding risk is pretty slim.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:03 PM
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21.last: Yes.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:04 PM
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where you live has tended to sound roughly free to me

I admit to some humble-brags about cost of the gym membership and daycare.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:05 PM
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I mean, $80/year! That's cheap for a gym. Granted, it's the city activity center, but it's the biggest one in town.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:06 PM
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Finished basements have a deleterious effect on children. They never learn to confront and overcome the fear of Basement Spiders and Silverfish.

Not to mention that dark corner where the Sleestaks live.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:14 PM
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Marie's Crisis to 19/20.

I think I am never buying a place again. "Real estate always goes up!" chirped my parents. In early 2008.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:14 PM
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(But who wants to hang out in the basement?)

Sexually experimenting adolescents, I'm pretty sure.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:16 PM
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I think this is now Lee's favorite show on the network, so I've seen about a million episodes. Her biggest complaint is when they do the big reveal of the improved house's listing and say, "Your house was worth $400,000. You put $25,000 into renovations and its new listing price is... $475,000! That's a $75,000 increase!" and then Lee complains about subtracting out the cost of renovation.

I am almost always on team "love it" but that might just be because I never want to move again and am projecting that onto other people.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:18 PM
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I had the furnished basement as my room for a while in high school. It ruled.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:19 PM
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32: Yeah, I was thinking, "Well, O does need a place for bong hits and awkward sessions on a musty couch . . ."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:20 PM
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the budget for buying tended to be 600K-900K. What's striking is that the families aren't presented as particularly wealthy. (I think it's filmed in Toronto.) They're presented as relatable, average families, and their list of housing demands is presented as what they need to get by, not to live a life of luxury. Something something overton window.

No shit. The degree to which we're collectively (apparently) pretending that this sort of thing is normal is really ... irritating? annoying? upsetting.

I'm grumpy.

On the finished basement front: dudes, they rule! It's true that you might need a sump-pump if you're in certain areas of the country, but there is no substitute for the place family members go to, uh, be alone.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:26 PM
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I guess I didn't need the hyphen in "sump-pump".

I think I probably told you all about the time my brother put a trip-wire on a tape recorder under the couch in the basement in order to record any sounds eventually generated on that couch when the basement door was opened.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:29 PM
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38

You put $25,000 into renovations and its new listing price is... $475,000! That's a $75,000 increase!"

My impression is that the majority of home renovation projects add less to the sale price than they cost to do -- you do them because the will improve your personal enjoyment of the house and hope that you can get most of the money back out later (my memory is vague, but I think getting 70-80% of the cost back is about average).

But, I'm happy that I just had the porch fixed because it turned out, once we got it opened up, that it was lacking in structural support. . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:37 PM
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39

improve your personal enjoyment of the house

If you install a rat-orgasm laboratory, the utility skyrockets.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:42 PM
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38: There used to be another show that was about which renovation project had a better rate of return and I think 70-80% would be on the high side, but I've never seen an episode of Love It or List It where there isn't a more significant bump in supposed value.

The couple next door to us can't sell their house because they want to get out the money they put into the kitchen, which is very much to their tastes and not going to be appealing to either historical purists or the HGTV crowd. The house next to them has gotten offers at $100K more than we paid for ours, and I'll bet the new buyers there will make renovations too.

I should really be using this thread to brag about how hard I worked this weekend to make storage for towels and the girls' hair stuff and how much nicer the bathroom became when the hideous, sticky old contact paper on the shelves got covered with clean new contact paper. So much fun!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:43 PM
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The Canadian housing market is strange, and there is a lot of ongoing debate about whether the current (expensive!) markets in Toronto and Vancouver are sustainable or not. Friends of mine who have recently bought houses there (or who are planning to buy) are firmly in the "sustainable" camp - as an outsider, I'm skeptical.

Wasn't there a scandal about one of these HGTV shows not too long ago - something about how the outcome was decided before filming, and the houses people "visited" on the show were chosen after they're already bought a place to allow for more exciting tv? I think it might have been a different show (choosing between buying different houses, not between renovating & buying).


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:44 PM
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I think I've found someone to put in the outdoor shower! I need to push hard on that. I really want to have that this summer.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:46 PM
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41: That's the House Hunters show, I believe. I had a friend who applied to be on it and couldn't because she didn't already have a contract on her new place. The funniest detail was that some of the houses the "buyers" toured weren't even for sale but belonged to friends of theirs. Ugh, why do I know this stuff????


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:47 PM
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I don't know that the cost of moving a pool is much greater than the cost of putting in a pool in the first place, which seems like a kind of ordinary UMC person thing to do, not a super rich person thing. You could probably do the job for what, $30k easily, and if moving the pool opens up the backyard then great.

In most of LA that kind of money definitely just buys you a "normal" looking house but of course the reason is that you have to be rich to buy a pretty normal looking house here.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:53 PM
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I've heard of people spending more than $250,000 on a house, but I don't really believe it is common.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:05 PM
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2: Around the Edmonton area it's nuts. My b-i-l has a nice house, but a 40-year mortgage, and I'm pretty sure it's a reach for them given their salaries. Maybe $350K for a place about the size of mine (half that)?

14: I have that knee jerk reaction until I realize I live in a near desert. Right, the basement is usable space here, not a place to cultivate mold.

22: Five in 1100 sq ft (okay, two don't have closets, so three, but you know)!

26: Downside of basement. Spiders still crawl all over. We hates them, but shiv went on a war of aggression against the spiders last year which seems to have helped.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:15 PM
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The upside of the basement is the attic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:19 PM
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Spiders in the basement are great at helping keep less benevolent intruders at bay. As long as they're not venomous, you shouldn't kill them, or even discourage them.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:20 PM
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Urple!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:22 PM
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I think I've found someone to put in the outdoor shower!

Why wouldn't you just use the outdoor shower yourself?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:24 PM
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48: As I have mentioned before, determining whether or not they are venomous would require me getting close enough to ascertain, and that ain't happening.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:29 PM
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||

For Oudemia:

Korva Coleman's name is actually a twist on an elderly relative's name, Cora. But "in some Slavic languages and possibly Hebrew," Ms. Coleman explained in an email, "my name apparently means 'slut.' Once, I was on the table during my first pregnancy being examined by a new OB/GYN. At the damnedest moment you can think of, he raised his head and remarked, 'I don't know if you know this Ms. Coleman, but your first name . . .' 'I KNOW what it means!' I shouted, scaring the poor guy half to death."

from here

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:33 PM
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52: That is awesome.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:43 PM
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Moby!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 1:56 PM
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Explain your toilets to us!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:01 PM
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Just yesterday, we entertained a couple moving here from somewhat near where Thorn and company live (and maybe not terribly far from where urple lives, if I've got that right). They, the couple that is, had spent the day looking at real estate, and they were pretty shell-shocked. They really don't want a pool -- where they're from a pool is something only very rich people have in their years -- and that narrows the field here quite a bit. They do, however, want a basement, which features are almost unheard of here. Sorry, newcomers, you're not in Kansas (or whatever) any more!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:09 PM
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On a somewhat related note, it always seems weird and somewhat tragic to me that I can't swap jobs with someone living in Pittsburgh. You want to live in NorCal! I want to live in Pittsburgh! You have tenure! I have tenure! Let's make this happen! But no. Other parties think they have a role in these discussions.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:12 PM
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56: to be fair, people do sometimes use empty pools to store crap that should have been thrown out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:16 PM
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If they move to Sacramento, they could have a crawlspace. That's a third of the way to a basement.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:22 PM
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59: they want to live here. For the schools!!! Hahahahahahahaha!!!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:25 PM
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And you don't really need all of the extra space for making out anyway.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:25 PM
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Of course, if you're forced to have a pool and not a basement, you should store stuff in the pool, or "circular shed" as we call it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:26 PM
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My friend who doesn't cook calls his fridge "the cold closet."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:36 PM
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64

Is there a basement at the VRBO?


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:36 PM
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I deeply resent the absence of basements here in Cali. Sticking all your shit in the garage means you don't really have a functional garage. And there's no place to put a workshop, or home gym equipment.

When I last househunted (to purchase), I was specifically looking for someplace with an unfinished basement that I could finish myself and add some bucks to the value of the house. Since we eventually sold for less than we paid for the place (thanks GWB!), I don't think that really paid off. But who knows how much less it would have sold for without the finished basement.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:40 PM
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Week six (or seven?) of the kitchen renovation is now underway. This might be the end, if everyone comes when they are scheduled. They will not.

The idea that any rule of thumb on recovering renovation expenses might be valid seems like madness to me. You can spend anything you want doing renovations, but the value of a house isn't going to go up all that much because the kitchen is white and bright, rather than a dingy light-sink.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:44 PM
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This might be the end, if everyone comes when they are scheduled. They will not.

That's no way to run an orgy.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:45 PM
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No way to run anything. We'll have some good stories out of it, though. The painter who says you can only see the places he missed if you look at them. The counter guy who cut the marble 2 inches off, so the sink wouldn't line up with the window. The cabinet guy who built spice racks with solid 3 inch walls, so you can't see what's in any of the jars. The tile guy who didn't look at the backsplash tiles, and try to work with the color/pattern variants, but just put them up in the order they were in the box. The fridge ordered from a store that announced the next day this it is closing, which has already missed two delivery dates and, we hear, is enjoying a week's visit to Seattle right now. Etc.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:54 PM
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Geez, people acting as if Californians are the normal ones. I remember my parents' friends being highly alarmed that there were piles of sticks and autumn leaves lying around our neighborhood. Wildfire hazard! Get everything into the wood chipper immediately! Is that tree dead yet? Life is on a knife edge.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 2:59 PM
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$50k is a good floor for any house change beyond bathroom or kitchen or bathroom redo. Maybe you can build a breakfast room or something for a bit less than that, and you could certainly do a whole house refresh (that is, paint and some updates of cabinets or whatever) for that much, but anything less than that is pretty small beer. $150k adds a decent chunk of house, but nothing Versailles-like (especially if paired with upgrades to existing). IMO that's a poor match with a $600-900k new house budget.

I do think that a much more interesting challenge would be to have the designer forced to work with a smaller budget - how do you create the sense of a "whole house refresh" for $35k? - but in the context of upgrading vs buying something else, that only works if they can't really afford a (better) new house. IOW, if you can only afford $35k to improve your living situation, a new house is barely worth the move, and you'll likely end up much happier with the update.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:08 PM
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38 gets it exactly right.

A big part of my job is convincing clients to accept this fact, and to simply be happy to improve their own lives. If you think about it, it's pretty unreasonable to think that you can spend $25k, be happier, and then get the $25k back. It would be like if your weed budget were not only tax-deductible, but actually a tax credit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:13 PM
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I've heard of people spending more than $250,000 on a house, but I don't really believe it is common.

Atrios always says that he knew it was a housing bubble because there simply aren't that many people who can afford $400k+ (or whatever) houses.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:18 PM
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On a separate note: if any of you ever want to fire somebody, maybe don't do it on a Saturday night, such that, if they check their email before bed, it will ruin their whole fucking weekend. Christ. It would have sucked to see that on a Monday morning, but at least it would have come after really enjoying (and sleeping well through) the previous 36 hours.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:19 PM
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urple!!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:20 PM
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I also am in the middle of a kitchen -bath reno that got more serious than we wanted. All the original stuff was fine, but many intermediate renovations were Cannot Unsee and are now fixed, usually in a pessimal order of operations.

And I still don't get a downstairs coat closet.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:20 PM
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6 a big company (after whom everything in the town is named) whose future is . . . not so bright

Wait, am I thinking of the right company? If so, I somehow never noticed that things were named after it. And its inevitable collapse seems like bad news for the future of funding of theoretical physics in Canada.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:21 PM
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Geez, JRoth, commiserations?!?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:22 PM
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Also, my sense of house prices has continued to be shaped by my parents' discussions when I was 10 or so and they were contemplating (but didn't) move, and it seemed like $100k would buy a huge amount of house. Which means I still have trouble accepting what housing costs around here. (My parents had sticker shock at the crappy rental apartment I had one summer in Chicago, and told me something like "you should be able to rent a nice apartment for $400/month! maybe Chicago's a little more expensive, but it shouldn't be that expensive". I think they were still horrified all these years later to learn what rent I'm paying now.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:24 PM
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how do you create the sense of a "whole house refresh" for $35k?

Smoke and mirrors. Literally and figuratively.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:25 PM
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Shorter 78: I bet urple has cheap housing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:25 PM
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77: Thanks. It's not, ultimately a big deal. I mean, it would have been a nice size job and all that, but in practical terms it's less devastating than it would have been in the past. Mostly it's just an emotional blow.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:31 PM
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Ouch, my sympathies, Jroth.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:37 PM
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People can commiserate about emotion blows also. You want me to do a donut in his yard?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:37 PM
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84

This is interesting. It claims the median house price in my current neighborhood is $660k. In the ZIP code I grew up in, about $80k. I thought someone did a study claiming to show that higher salaries made up for cost of living differences between locations?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:42 PM
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I don't know that the cost of moving a pool is much greater than the cost of putting in a pool in the first place, which seems like a kind of ordinary UMC person thing to do, not a super rich person thing.

It's not the sheer cost. Rich people blow a lot of money in a lot of ways. It's the frame of mind, when house-hunting, to look at a pool and think "well, that can be moved", the way I might look at carpet and think "well, that can be removed." And I grant that she's right to move the pool, but even a lot of rich people aren't going to categorize a pool into something movable. I mean, it's a certain way of saying "money is no object to anything" that is outsized to the cost of the actual task. If that makes sense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 3:43 PM
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85 -- Not sure I understand here. If you want a house but also want to move the pool because you can't stand where it is, in looking at the house you mentally figure that the the total cost is the purchase price for the house +cost to move pool=total cost. Or, you might look at a different house that has a higher initial purchase price but where you don't have to pay for moving the pool. Just like when you'd consider any other major renovation before purchasing a house; you mentally figure what the renovation would cost before moving in, and compare that to other places with roughly the same total cost, not just the same initial purchase price. There's no reason why only very rich people do those kinds of calculations.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 4:19 PM
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It is kind of weird to judge people who buy a house and move the pool for conspicuous consumption, but not people who buy new construction.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 4:26 PM
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88

In other words 86 is, or ought to be, right.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 4:27 PM
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84: Why should we think of it as in terms of "making up for" the difference in price, when in fact more expensive areas often have better amenities? (For instance, safer or safer-feeling, more convenient to employment/recreation, prettier, better-regarded schools.)

You might as well say that higher incomes among households that send their children to expensive private schools tend to make up for the cost-of-schooling difference. Why not just say that rich people buy the more expensive land, and send their kids to the more expensive schools?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 4:31 PM
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Plus, you never know, they might find the Encino Man when they dig for the new pool, and who didn't like that movie?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 4:32 PM
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89.1: Well, sure, I agree with that. When deciding among jobs last year, I chose to live in a place where my money doesn't go as far because I enjoy living and working here. But I do have a memory of some study being touted on some blogs (or Facebook, or something) not so long ago claiming that actually because salaries are higher in pricier areas people tend to break even, which would seem to imply people aren't paying for the extra amenities. It seems to be wrong. (I guess I should try to dig up the thing I'm remembering if I'm going to talk about it, otherwise I'm poking at a strawman.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 4:35 PM
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One of my students turned in a final paper with an awesome typo of "sardonically" for "hadronically". I wonder if autocorrect was to blame.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 4:45 PM
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I assume the high point of every career teaching physics is getting a paper that mentions the 'large hardon collider.'


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:01 PM
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I'd be interested to see the study. In my field you definitely don't break even in expensive cities.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:02 PM
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Isn't it hardonic?


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:03 PM
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93: I was at a lunch once where someone made that joke and Phi/lip Ande/rson was there and I thought he was literally going to die laughing. It would have been an ignominious death for a Nobel laureate.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:06 PM
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86: right, that's not what I'm saying at all. Obviously someone might be 100% rational consumer and decide that it was the sensible choice.

What I'm saying is we usually put our expenses in mental categories and then act irrationally, ie refuse to pay $5 for the crackers on the $500 flight, but we wouldn't bat an eye if the flight had cost $505. I'm saying, sure, this might be rational but it's the kind of thing that most of us would categorize as "out of the question". Whereas she categorized it the way I'd categorize ugly carpet: replaceable.

87: I'm not judging her. I don't think she's a bad person or wrong. Lay off.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:24 PM
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96: I have often thought that I should spend more time with Nobel winners because they would really get me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:33 PM
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96: I have often thought that I should spend more time with Nobel winners because they would really get me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:34 PM
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Still don't really get the comparison. Frex, I've done all kinds of crazy vanity stuff to my house, like strip and restain the wood, because I wanted to, but I was able to do that because I bought a (relatively) cheap house with a plan to renovate it.* Not really seeing how moving the pool is different. Is it because having a pool in the first place is such a goddamn luxury you should be happy about it and just shut up?

*nb, this is fun but financially a super bad idea unless, ukke me, you are willing and able to do it all yourself.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:41 PM
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How much did the sex grotto put you back?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:43 PM
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86: Speaking professionally, what I observe is that rich people use imaginary budget numbers to rationalize what is actually extravagant expense. IOW, in the case of this pool, they'll say, "Well, the asking price plus X to move the pool is totally reasonable," but in fact moving the pool costs 2x X. Because they're rich, it doesn't, ultimately, matter, but their rationalization lets them pretend that it was a sound decision all along.

I can tell you that my one rich client is radically different - and much less rational - than any of my many, various other clients have been. He's like a 4-y.o. in his inability to rein in his desires, even as he whines (like a 4-y.o.) about the budget being blown. Every step of the way, he's been offered ways to meet his ostensible budget, and every step of the way, he's chosen the more expensive option*, while complaining about the budget and often trying to beat someone up to get them to cover the additional expense.

Basically, read Taibbi and picture those assholes as homeowners, and that's exactly how it works. Rich homeowners view themselves as too big to fail.

*sometimes reasonably, in the sense of picking a significantly better product, and sometimes unreasonably, in the sense of obviously being motivated by either social striving or, essentially, whim


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:43 PM
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101 -- it's really just some gravel and used condoms at this point, but I have high hopes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:46 PM
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87: It's very possible that moving the pool uses more total energy & material than a different pairing of house/buyers.

Softies used to buy each others' fancy new houses as 'scrapers'. Don't care what they did to each other, but a lot of ecologically expensive material got destroyed after a fraction of its useful life. Sssss.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:49 PM
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ukke me

ukke 4eva


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:49 PM
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I'm finding the analogy between stripping one's one wood trim and paying someone else in the mid-5 figures to relocate a pool to be so strained as to be uninformative. Buying a new T-shirt as retail therapy and buying a new Porsche due to a midlife crisis are also not in the same category, unless one accepts gross inequality as unproblematic.

I suppose that I'm nibbling at hands that feed me, except that, again, my one rich client isn't paying me any more to tend to his whims than my [U]MC clients are paying me to help them get max value from their projects.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:52 PM
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Is it because having a pool in the first place is such a goddamn luxury you should be happy about it and just shut up?

No.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:52 PM
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106 -- well, but you'd have to spend in the mid 5 figures to put a pool in in the first place, and I don't think "nice place, but I'd love to put in a pool" is the province of the super rich and I'm not really seeing the difference. Is there something particularly evocative about pools?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:58 PM
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I think it's weird that you don't see a categorical difference between installing a pool and relocating a pool. I get that the latter could actually be cheaper than a high end installation. It's a categorical difference.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:02 PM
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A normal person would not pay for a house with a pool and then immediately remove the pool, because a house with a pool costs more than the same house without a pool, and a normal person wouldn't want to pay extra for something they have no interest in, whether a pool, an apiary, a sex dungeon, or other amenity. A rich person doesn't give a crap.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:03 PM
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Or, put differently, sure, really excessive seeming spending can be really excessive seeming. But I don't see why "move a pool" (for about the cost of putting in a pool, which people do all the time) is that super excessive. Is it because you already have a pool, albeit one that you don't like? Should you not re landscape an already landscaped back yard, or put in a new updated bathroom when you already have a perfectly functional bathroom?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:04 PM
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What if they built the second pool and turned the first pool into a mini skate park: better or worse?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:05 PM
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I was going to say that Halford was weirdly right on this one but then I saw that heebie was using the unbeatable argument from irrationality. So, hooray, comity!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:05 PM
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I've known of people removing pools before. I've never known someone to relocate a pool.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:05 PM
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112: if they had one of the pools that makes a good skate park they would be even more likely (far more likely) to tear it out, as those are totally not code anymore and also kill children.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:06 PM
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114: they removed one pool and added a different one. Better?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:06 PM
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I look forward to my upcoming tract on the quiet discontents of the Southern California homeowner Who (Hasn't) Moved My Pool?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:08 PM
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I find it extravagant to spend $500 on moisturizer. But not extravagant to spend $500 on landscaping! Mental budget categories sure are irrational and inscrutable and cray-cray.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:10 PM
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A normal person would not pay for a house with a pool and then immediately remove the pool, because a house with a pool costs more than the same house without a pool

And obviously a house that is equally satisfying in every regard with the only difference being its lack of a pool will be on the market at the same time.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:11 PM
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Houses with shitty pools can be cheaper than those without a pool.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:13 PM
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Man houses in my home town are hilariously cheap. It's in the lowest category for the heat map, so I don't know what the average price really is.

I agree with essear that one needs to keep in mind that part of what you pay more for in one place vs. another is genuine improvement in life, and you're not just getting the same thing. But there seems to be other differences in cost that don't line up like this. For example, NYC vs. SF you really do pay more for less.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:22 PM
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As an obstinate renter, I have no frame of reference. This is insane. I choose renting because I have no desire to ever fix a roof or replace a water heater. You owners are owners, and suckers because of it. Also, I may be completely jealous of your luxury. But never mention that.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:25 PM
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115: What do you mean by "makes a good skate park"? What's not safe about the old ones?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:27 PM
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121: SF is not just a scaled-down version of NYC. However, it does seem like in NYC some people are paying more to live somewhere where they have access to more-lucrative NYC employment, while others are paid more because nearby labor is relatively scarce.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:27 PM
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122.last: Although not much more, with the huge increase in rent in San Francisco in the last two years.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:28 PM
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||
Anyone ever have their FB account become suddenly "temporarily unavailable"? I assume it's a benign circumstance, but also speculate the worst. I am obviously flagged because I commented here, once.
|>


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:28 PM
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124: Indeed, it's better!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:30 PM
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127: If you are in certain careers you will far prefer living in New York to living in San Francisco (and in other careers, the reverse).

Also there really are benefits to scale in some things. For example, live theater and music. San Francisco is just a one-opera-house town, so if you don't like what's playing at the San Francisco Opera, you're out of luck.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:37 PM
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I thought someone did a study claiming to show that higher salaries made up for cost of living differences between locations?

The only way I can imagine this being remotely true is if the study did some serious cherry-picking of data. Like, maybe, comparing the average salaries of college-educated workers in Boston/New York/Seattle and in Cleveland/Omaha/Oklahoma City it could work? Because there's a class of very rich, college-educated people in Boston that doesn't exist in Omaha? Or something? Otherwise, even though, yes, lawyers* make somewhat more in Boston and New York than the do in Omaha, I'm not seeing it.

I could be entirely wrong, I suppose, but that would surprise me.

* And lots of other college-educated professionals.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:51 PM
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By now someone must have made a dvd with opera on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:52 PM
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129: Maybe it's closer to true if you think about a single person in a rented apartment. For a family in a single-family house, forget it.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:54 PM
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UPDATE: My facebook is restored. So you can all breathe easy, now. You're welcome.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:58 PM
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129: Plus, Omaha is easier to fly out of. The airport is right downtown, small enough to walk across in two minutes, and serves Godfather's Pizza.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:58 PM
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The pizza that might ask something of you one day!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:59 PM
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OT: The Verizon help guy really wants you to close all your porn before you give him access to your screen but he doesn't want to actually say "close your porn."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:01 PM
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134: To vote for Herman Cain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:02 PM
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135
I'm fairly certain that's not the problem with FB I'm having.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:02 PM
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||

Map showing for each state the site of the most CL Missed Connections.

|>


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:10 PM
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JRoth's description of rich homeowners is eerily reminiscent of some of my cow-orkers.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:40 PM
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One of whom I frequently hear on the phone with contractors doing home renovations, for that matter.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:41 PM
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110

A normal person would not pay for a house with a pool and then immediately remove the pool, because a house with a pool costs more than the same house without a pool, ...

I don't think this is always true. Sometimes a pool is a liability (or at best neutral). When I was looking for housing not so long ago I was initially much taken with one place. But it had a koi pond in back which I soon figured out I would need to fill in and I didn't want the hassle.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:57 PM
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130: An opera is not like a college course; you can't mass-produce and distribute it without big reductions in quality.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:58 PM
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Huh?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:29 PM
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Plus, you can pause it to go get a snack or take a leak.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:32 PM
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144: At a live opera, you don't have to pause it yourself - they pause it for you.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:36 PM
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Data points from friends who have recently bought in Toronto.

$500k gets you semi detached in a reasonable neighbourhood in the city itself, small enough to be tight if you had two kids.

$900k gets you a fully detached house with a bit if yard, and a bit bigger, in a good neighbourhood.

Both of above involve pretty obvious trade offs.

Nice house, desire able neighbourhood, fully detached, is heading north of a million.

The classic ways to economize:

Dodgy neighbourhood and hole the gentrification train runs over you soon

Big commute. Pretty easy to find a lot more house, if not much more land this way, but for the same sort of money. Finding something

Condos. The place is crawling with them now, some even in the 400 sq foot range. These will run you 250k all the way to 5million or so (much bigger, then) but most are in 300-600k range.

Being near the subway (which lacks coverage) is a premium.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:44 PM
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Previous message grout to you by the public commission for fun facts, pedantry, and adherence to topic.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:46 PM
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Grout? You sure there isn't mole?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:49 PM
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Grout away. No mole here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:50 PM
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Cocked it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:50 PM
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Big commute.

If I had taken the job I was offered in that area, I would have been commuting two hours one-way at least two or three days a week. They kept telling me that it really wasn't a big deal and even offered to arrange a driver, but it still seems fairly nutty to me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:54 PM
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offered to arrange a driver

???? Is this something that employers often do? I've never heard of it before.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 8:56 PM
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It was kind of an unusual job that would have involved working at two different places 90 miles or so apart, one of which has obscene amounts of funding and regularly pays drivers to shuttle people around. (Mostly picking up visitors from airports, but not only that.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 9:00 PM
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152: some tech firms do this, not uncommon to have wifi enabled shuttles in tech dense areas.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 9:06 PM
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Huh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 9:07 PM
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The only way I can imagine this being remotely true is if the study did some serious cherry-picking of data.

I'm 99% certain I saw Yglesias talking (approvingly) about this study. Which just reinforces your point, I suppose.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 9:33 PM
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wifi enabled shuttles in tech dense areas.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 9:33 PM
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That was supposed to be italicized. Oh well.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 9:34 PM
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I'm 99% certain I saw Yglesias talking (approvingly) about this study.

This was my memory as well, but I can't remember any of the details.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 9:38 PM
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Yglesias? Huh. That would be the sort of place I'd pick up some bizarro mental virus. (I mean, the claim sounded clearly off once I recalled it and thought for a couple seconds, but somehow I do have "oh, there was a study that showed..." lodged in my brain.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 9:45 PM
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I would be secretly thrilled to buy a house whose basement was finished in the days of "put a full bar down there! with taps!"

My neighbors growing up had an amazing bar like this, including dark red carpet and crackled mirrors. Apparently after midnight Christmas eve services, my parents would go over and drink high balls until about 3-4 in the morning. After children this didn't happen on Christmas, but I used to drink a fair number of Shirley Temples down there.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 2:37 AM
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We need to get urple to host a show like this. "Your house was worth $400,000. You put $25,000 into renovations. And now... the bathroom plumbing is emitting Higgs bosons, the kitchen has been overrun by an undiscovered species of lemur, and the rec room is a temple to Dread Cthulhu."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 3:21 AM
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the rec room is a temple to Dread Cthulhu

That's got to add a covenant restriction to the title. The dark god gets right of first refusalborn.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:16 AM
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162: Don't do that while I'm drinking coffee.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:39 AM
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I don't know why I put Dread Cthulhu. It's not like there's another one who's, you know, quite nice. And it also gives the name a (completely unintended) Rastafarian sound.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:45 AM
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Who say Cthulhu no dread?

Him a great old dread mon


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:49 AM
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"In his city of Rl'yeh dead Cthulhu lies, stoned."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:52 AM
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I and I Ph'nglui rastafari


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:52 AM
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Irie!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:53 AM
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164 to all


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:06 AM
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Cthulhu is a baldhead, categorically opposed to being a dread. One step forward onna new carpet, two steps backward pon moving your pool pointlessly.

Personally I would judge someone who moved a pool on a whim as strongly as someone who moved into a newly built mcmansion, both are ostentatiously wasteful.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:10 AM
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We always move our pool. You just slide it around the yard to stay in or out of the sun, depending on the temperature and your degree of burn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:12 AM
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So much careless Innsmouthians have gone astray
So much careless Innsmouthians have lost their way

They calling upon Dagon, each night and day
Praying for a God to come, from Y'ha-nthlei


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:23 AM
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A more elegant solution* would be to convert your entire back yard into an enormous swimming pool, and cover most of it with pontoons, decking, Pierced Steel Planking or Lake Van-style floating islands. Then you could effectively move the pool at will just by repositioning the covers.


*trans: "This suggestion is superficially plausible in theory but wildly impractical and possibly actually life-threatening, and should therefore be ignored".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:24 AM
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Cthulhu is a baldhead, categorically opposed to being a dread.

Oh, come on. He lives in the tropics, his head is a "writhing mass of tentacles", and he terrifies notorious racist HP Lovecraft. Connect the dots, people!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:26 AM
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174: or! Excavate your entire lot to a depth of eleven feet, fill it with water, and live on a houseboat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:26 AM
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Fill the lot with milk and yellow inner tubes and live in a giant spoon.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:29 AM
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Some guy down the street from me has his entire backyard surrounded by a cinder block wall about 8 foot high. I guess he was going to build a really big deck/basement but got distracted. It's been like that for ten years, except that the painted it orange recently.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:31 AM
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A part of his roof has been covered by a tarp for more than a couple of years. Anyway, when people complain about HOAs and city inspectors, I think of this guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:32 AM
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My insane great-uncle put in a 'pond' and 'stream' by simply dumping various colors of gravel in his yard. Green for grass, blue for water. The same principle could be applied to s swimming pool.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:35 AM
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180 sounds perfectly rational. No excavation or permits required - just a few bags of gravel. And no risk of flooding, or toddlers falling in or anything.

Reminds me vaguely of King Dagobert, who was advised to carry a wooden sword, on the grounds that it would be lighter and less likely to trip him up, and also if he wanted it shorter he could just saw the end off, and anyway if it actually got to the point of him using a sword he would have screwed up being a king on a monumental and probably irrecoverable way.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:43 AM
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King Dagobert had a really lazy blacksmith.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:48 AM
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Actually the advice was from Saint Eloi.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 6:52 AM
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Fill the lot with milk and yellow inner tubes and live in a giant spoon.

Ah, another "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" fan I see.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:08 AM
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183: Who was made the patron saint of blacksmiths, presumably to make it up to them.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:17 AM
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It's no "Adventures in Babysitting" but yes, I loved "Honey I Shrunk the Kids".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:18 AM
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I never saw either of those. I'm waiting for them to be adapted for the stage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:22 AM
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162: Don't do that while I'm drinking coffee.

Exactly.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:24 AM
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178: surrounding your yard with an eight-foot wall seems like a really strange first step to take in constructing a basement.

"Echo, in what room may I best display abasement?
A basement."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:37 AM
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I'm just assuming since the wall stops about a foot below the bottom of the house. The yard really slopes away from the street, if you're wondering how that works. The wall probably isn't so high where it abuts the house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:48 AM
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We know a guy who dug himself a basement by hand, under the existing house.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:55 AM
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Aha, I understand.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:55 AM
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I don't understand, really. I'm just guessing. I asked his neighbor, but apparently they don't talk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:58 AM
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191: I wanted to dig a secret chamber off to the side of the basement in the house I bought with my ex. She was on board but we split before we could make any progress. I've always wanted a house with secret rooms and hidden passageways.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 7:58 AM
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After the news of that guy in Cleveland, that doesn't sound at all creepy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:00 AM
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190: My high school was built that way. Floors 1-3 started at ground level facing the street. The new floors 5-6 were below, behind, and downhill from the original building.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:02 AM
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195: relevant:
http://guyism.com/humor/charles-ramsey-rescues-three-women-gives-greatest-interview-in-the-history-of-television.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:08 AM
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196: because most of the old town is essentially built on the side of a cliff, there are a lot of Edinburgh buildings like this. The City Chambers is 7 floors high on the street side and 13 floors high on the back. Also under it: an entire street (buildings and all) that was abandoned due to plague and then roofed over.

Edinburgh Old Town is pretty weird.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:11 AM
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We know a guy who dug himself a basement by hand, under the existing house.

Surely there are easier ways to win a Darwin Award?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:12 AM
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In my very short career in the renovations business, I worked on a job where we were dropping the floor of a basement, in the Oakland hills, about 2.5 feet. It wasn't a crawlspace, but 5.5 foot ceilings aren't exactly useful either. Especially if you're hoping to swing a pickaxe.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:16 AM
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We have nine foot ceilings in our basement, but we don't swing a pickaxe in it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:17 AM
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My apartment building is like this -- the entrance lobby is on the second floor, and is itself a half flight of steps down from the street. There's a first floor below the lobby, and behind the building is a deck built out from the first floor over empty space.

Every few years there's a serious attempt to figure out how to make the building accessible for people with disabilities, and every time we give up -- the vertical distances are just too big to manage other than with stairs, given the size of the plot. To get a ramp into the building, we'd need to eat half the street in front of us.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:17 AM
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The main Pitt medical school building has street entrances on the 4th floor and the 2nd floor. I think the only way to get in by the 1st floor is the ER.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:19 AM
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There is no ER in the main Pitt medical school building (i.e. Scaife Hall). It's in the hospital, which is attached, but not the same building (Presby). I think the reason the first floor of the medical school building isn't actually on the ground is so the floors match between Scaife and Presby. Anyway, keeping track of what floor you need to be on to connect to what floor of what other building is not a small task. I don't go that way much anymore, so I get confused.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:23 AM
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The Frick Building Downtown has had its main lobby marooned when the street in front of it was significantly lowered (it's the main street of Downtown, and had a big hump right in the middle; it's now pretty level from end to end). You now go down half a flight from the street into what was originally a basement, and then there's a grand stair up to the original lobby.

At least, I think that's how it works. But yeah, most architects don't really design for the adjacent landscape to be radically altered post-construction. Shortsighted, really.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:43 AM
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Obviously, they should have just lowered the building.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:45 AM
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Speaking of local things, this is some pretty fucked-up sentencing. It combines the worst features of elite privilege and daytime-TV judging.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:50 AM
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Guy over here just got 360 hours community service for hitting and killing a cyclist. It wasn't even his first offence: the first time he killed a cyclist he got two years. This time, the sheriff* explained, the cyclist wasn't wearing a helmet, which contributed significantly to her death. Not as significantly, I would think, as did the CAR SMASHING INTO HER.

http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/latest-news/fury-at-sheriff-s-helmet-claim-in-cyclist-death-case-1-2920362

*in this context a sort of junior judge, rather than a senior policeman

Bonus: read down for the name of the judge's wife who similarly got away with a fine after smacking into yet another cyclist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 9:11 AM
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That does seem bad, but I'd like to point out that the woman sentenced in 207 was a judge on the highest court in a reasonably important state.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 9:15 AM
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Instead, he was given just 300 hours of community service for causing the death of fun-loving pensioner Audrey Fyfe by careless driving.

Is "fun-loving" some Private Eye style euphemism for permanently pissed or is the Scotsman just being really weird? Would killing a grouch be more acceptable?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 10:58 AM
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I just assumed that it explained why she was riding a bike at that age instead of chasing kids off her lawn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 11:02 AM
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Not mutually exclusive.


Posted by: Elvira Gulch | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 11:41 AM
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208 last. Not a judge's wife, but the wife of a former head of the Bank of Scotland, which makes the nominative determinism even more striking.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 11:54 AM
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I never saw either of those. I'm waiting for them to be adapted for the stage.

I remember reading a novelization of Adventures in Babysitting (it was on a cheap paperback rack somewhere when I was on a family trip) and then seeing the movie afterwards. It turns out that a novelization can be a lot more faithful to a movie than a movie adaptation can be to a book.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 3:49 PM
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209

That does seem bad, but I'd like to point out that the woman sentenced in 207 was a judge on the highest court in a reasonably important state

The sentence doesn't seem that ridiculous to me (not having followed the case at all). What would you have given her?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:10 PM
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215: Some prison. Her sister is already in prison for crimes committed out of the same series of events* and her other sister convicted.

*She was stupid enough to forge documents in comically obvious ways and turn them in as evidence.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:30 PM
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214: sometimes! I remember being very confused by the occasional novelization that was written off the script before the movie was made, the movie having changed dramatically in the meantime.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 5:45 PM
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217: Indeed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 8:25 PM
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213: indeed. Good catch.

Is "fun-loving" some Private Eye style euphemism for permanently pissed or is the Scotsman just being really weird? Would killing a grouch be more acceptable?

It's the Evening News, so weirdness is definitely a possibility. And I think the implication is that Edinburgh is severely short of non-grouchy pensioners and so any of them getting killed is to be severely deplored. cf "There were only five Republicans in this town and you have eaten two of them."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 8-13 3:06 AM
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Damn, now I want to start Lady Risk, the band.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 8-13 3:57 AM
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It's definitely a neglected category in the classification that includes market risk, conduct risk, credit risk, reputational risk and so on.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 8-13 4:00 AM
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Yes! It would make me so happy to see Lady Risk as a standard part of the Safe Harbor boilerplate language companies always use, and the whole world would be happy to hear Alex's Lady Risk band.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 8-13 5:26 AM
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Each and every several years there exists a critical try and discover how to make the constructing available for those with afflictions, every time all of us give up -- your vertical ranges are simply too big to control besides together with stairways, due to the sized the plan. To get a incline into the developing, I'd appetite 50 percent the path looking at all of us. detroit diesel colombia


Posted by: Ralp Ubod | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:38 PM
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