Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gone, but not forgotten.................

Duane Allman died 40 years ago today. A sad day.

Milton Friedman takes Phil Donahue (and the rest of us) to school...............

It is all in the wording......

Agent Genius blog takes us to a home buyer's IQ test from the
folks at Zillow - here.  Feeling argumentative, I will tell you that
they think I answered one of their questions incorrectly.  Here
is the true or false question:

A buyer has the right to back out of a sales contract if the
appraisal comes in lower than purchase price, if the buyer
cannot get a mortgage, or if the home doesn't pass
inspection.

Zillow's correct answer is True.  My argumentative answer was
False.  If the contract contains language allowing the buyer to
terminate the agreement if those things come to pass, then the
answer is True.   But........and it is a big but, not all contracts
are created equal and absent the proper language those "rights"
don't exist.

Arguing about the Constitution...........

For those amongst us who scratch their heads wondering how the
Constitution gets so stretched out of shape, comes the following
bit of history:

      "One of the greatest dramas of President Washington’s
       first term was the showdown between House of
      Representatives leader James Madison and Treasury
      secretary Alexander Hamilton over how to interpret the
      Constitution of which Madison was the moving spirit,
      and which he and Hamilton had defended and explicated
      together in The Federalist.

Their argument was about the chartering of a national bank. The
guys who created the Constitution couldn't agree on what it
meant.  Hmmmm.

Full interesting essay on the "constitutional" powers of
government, posted on the City Journal, is here.  Interestingly
enough, it is titled On Tyranny and Liberty.

As a public service

I don't have anything.....................

The Skyliners....................................Since I Don't Have You

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dreams of you dance through my head

Blackfoot.......................................Highway Song



Well another day, another dollar
After I've sang and hollered
Oh it's my way of living, and I can't change a thing
Another town is drawing near
Oh baby I wish you were here
The only way I can see you, darlin', is in my dreams

It's a highway song
You sing it on and on, on and on

Vices and/or virtues................

Michael Wade is back from a very brief vacation from the
blogosphere.  In a post worthy of your time, he suggests
we may want to be checking our assumptions.  Full post
is here.  Excerpt is here:

If I were to urge one task for anyone experiencing career
frustration, it would be to examine the assumptions that
have governed daily life. You are the author and you
may need to rewrite the story.

Good advice..... Make some memories..........

(viewing this may work better on the big screen.  Go here)

History can get complicated.......























Image courtesy of

Well, it's a big day for birthdays.....

Some seriously notable people were born on October 28th.  Two
of them, Jonas Salk and Bill Gates, changed our world.  But......
today let's celebrate Charlie Daniels's 75th.  It's just more fun.



I should probably tell you that about eight years ago Charlie Daniels played an outdoor concert here in Newark.  A fortuitous set of circumstances led to my two young children (and their dad) being allowed to meet and sit a bit with Charlie on his traveling bus.  He was friendly and kind to them.  Autographed pictures of Charlie adorned the walls of our humble abode for a few years after that.  So we are all pleased to say....... "Happy Birthday Charlie!"

(Ed. note:  This all felt vaguely familiar. Good reason.  A quick search showed that a very similar post appeared a year ago for his 74th birthday.  Oh well.  Not changing it.)

Although, we did have this huge stack of old National Geographics...........



















thanks bitsandpieces

The World According to Hugh.............."No form of success is achieved without hard work" ............. "Happiness has a price."

















Thanks Hugh

Apologies made easy................


















thanks Will

Doo-wop lives.............................

The Earls.........................................Remember Then

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Richard Epstein and PBS: Unequals.........


A plowin' through the ragged skies.....

The Outlaws................................Ghost Riders in the Sky

A small difference of opinion................

Mmmmm................................

It's all about those priorities............

Opening paragraphs...................

     On September 12, 1876, the crowd overflowing the
auditorium of Baltimore's Academy of Music was in a mood
of hopeful excitement, but excitement without frivolity. 
Indeed, despite an unusual number of women in attendance,
many of them from the uppermost reaches of local society, a
reporter noted, "There was no display of dress or fashion." 
For this occasion had serious purpose.  It was to mark the
launching of the Johns Hopkins University, an institution
whose leaders intended not simply to found a new university
but to change all of American education; indeed, they sought
considerably more than that.  They planned to change the
way in which Americans tried to understand and grapple
with nature.  The keystone speaker, the English scientist
Thomas H. Huxley, personified their goals.

John M. Barry,  The Great Influenza

Since you were curious about Johns Hopkins....

In 1873, Johns Hopkins died, leaving behind a trust of  $3.5 million to found a university and hospital.  It was to that time the greatest gift ever to a university.  Princeton's library collection was then an embarrassment of only a few books - and the library was only open one hour a week.  Columbia was little better; its library opened for two hours each afternoon, but freshmen could not enter without a special permission slip.  Only 10 percent of Harvard's professors had a Ph. D.
    The trustees of Hopkins's estate were Quakers who moved deliberately but also decisively.  Against the advice of Harvard president Charles Eliot, Yale president James Burril Angell, and Cornell president Andrew D. White, they decided to model the Johns Hopkins University after the great German universities, places thick with men consumed with creating new knowledge, not simply teaching what was believed.

-John M. Barry,  The Great Influenza

On sharing.....................

Oh my darlin'..................

The Mystics....................................Hushabye

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What is this fascination with the "core"......

"FEAR is back! And it is ruling the investment world. The
choices of where to invest money safely are very few. Hence,
gold, treasuries, and core real estate have become the safe
investment vehicles of choice – besides putting it under the
mattress, that is – rather than back into the bank. If you
think back to just 2009 though, this is the exact moment
when those brave investors who purchased properties made
a pile of money in less than 2 years. Again citing Mr. Buffet,
the time to buy is when everyone is running scared."

So says Fred Cordova in his New Nexus blog.  Full and fun post
is here.  I agree with much of what he says, but coming from small
town Ohio, where many profitable real estate investments have
been (and will be) made, I just don't understand the focus only on
"core real estate."  "Core", as I understand it, is the industry code
for the trophy properties in the major (NYC, Washington, L.A.,
Chicago, et. al.) markets.  Almost any trade publication you
care to read has a story about "core real estate."  Most of those
stories lately talk about the competition for those properties as
big time investors seek "safety."   As with most competitions for
a scarce resource, the result has been "compression" of cap rates,
which is industry code for sale prices rising in relation to the net
income the investment property will generate.  I understand that
if you have tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to invest,
coming to small town Ohio just doesn't make a lot of sense.  It's
just a matter of scale.  But the real estate investment market is
way bigger than just what is happening in New York or L.A or
Washington.  Plus, overpaying for core properties just because
they are "core" and all your investing peers are in love with them,
seems like a good way to take a large fortune and turn it into a
small one.

I would suggest that there are many opportunities for profitable
real estate investing in the non-core world.  We may not be very
sexy and there certainly aren't any "trophies" around here, but if
a fair and reasonable rate of return for a modest amount of risk
is your cup of tea, check us out.  Opportunities abound in small
town Ohio.

On deficit spending..........

Uh-oh..............























Thanks Ka-Ching!

Congratulations are in order........

Justin Wehr thinks us older folks could use an occasional pat
on the back.  I concur.   Full post here.  Excerpt here:

"People are less quick to applaud as you grow older. Life
starts out with everyone clapping when you take a poo and
goes downhill from there."

A sigh of relief...................

The Mighty E. opens the door..................

...it's alright..................

The American Breed...........................Bend Me, Shape Me

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The mortgage interest deduction revisited......

Faithful readers will remember that this blog has long beseeched
the National Association of Realtors to show some leadership by
offering  up our industry's sacred cow for sacrifice- if, and it's a
big if, all other sacred cows become eligible for the chopping
block as well.  Our government and our economy have gotten all
gummed up by all the special treatments, subsidies, and other
assorted gimmies.  The time is ripe for some serious house
cleaning, but it is not likely to happen until somebody with some
serious skin in the game makes the first offer.  Who better than
the real estate industry?

Mathew Ferrara offers his two cents on the subject here.
Excerpt here:
       "Could eliminating the mortgage interest deduction
       create a stronger housing industry? Definitely, if you
       focus on the economics of the future, not the
       traditions of the past."

Isn't it about time we start focusing on building a better and
stronger future instead of spending all our energy merely
defending turf?

My parents' parents said the same thing......

About that History degree............

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history."
-George Bernard Shaw

Bloggery at its finest..................

Kurt selects his favorite Execupundit posts, a daunting task
admirably performed.  Enjoy it here.

On faith..............

"Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of
proof."
-Kahlil Gibran

"Scepticism is the beginning of Faith."
-Oscar Wilde

"Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is
theoretically possible."
-William James

"Faith is like electricity. You can't see it, but you can see
the light."
-anonymous


"Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the
former is a gift from God." -
-Blaise Pascal

"On a long journey of human life, faith is the best of
companions; it is the best refreshment on the journey;
and it is the greatest property." -
-Buddha

"Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see."
-William Newton Clarke

"Faith enables persons to be persons because it lets God
be God."
-Carter Lindberg

"The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of
happiness."
-Henry David Thoreau

"Faith is a passionate intuition."
-William Wordsworth

"Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active."
-Edith Hamilton

"Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to
believe with. His mind was created for his own thoughts,
not yours or mine."
-Henry S. Haskins

OK.........................

stormy eyes......................................

The Association..............................................Windy

Monday, October 24, 2011

....face the music.........................

Mark Knopfler...........................Postcards from Paraguay

On industry and 18th century Britain.........

"The English, before anyone else, believed industry was the answer to all problems.  Agro-industry, which abandoned the goal of producing the best food and strived to produce the most per acre, was an English invention.  Wheat crops increased enormously.  New feed, such as turnips, kept livestock eating all year.  Starting with Jethro Tull's seed planting drill of 1701, which planted three rows at once, a new agricultural invention, a new crossbred plant, a new strain of livestock, or a new tool was invented almost every year in eighteenth-century Britain.  This was the beginning of modern agriculture, a system that would produce enormous surpluses of food in industrialized nations and still fail to end hunger in the world."

-Mark Kurlansky, Salt: A World History

Speaking of Jethro Tull.....................

Jethro Tull......................Living In the Past

More than a poem for Monday......

Manifesto:  The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion -- put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

-Wendell Berry

As the rain beats down............................

The Left Banke..........................Walk Away Renee

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Unshakeable.....................



     And this kind of love makes me feel ten feet tall
              It makes all my problems fall
    And this kind of trust helps me to hold the line
                  I'll be there every time

    This kind of love it's what I dreamed about
                     Yeah it fills me up
                Baby it leaves no doubt
     This kind of love it's why I'm standing here
             It's something that we can share
           I can't enough of this kind of love

        This kind of hope is what I try to find
             And now I can't deny I believe
        And this kind of faith is so unshakeable
                      It's unmistakable
                    It's bigger than me

          Your love can move a mountain
              It makes my world go round
             It's always there to guide me
               I'm so lucky that I found

      This kind of love is what I dreamed about
                    Yeah it fills me up
            Well baby it leaves no doubt
    This kind of love it's why I'm standing here
          It's something that we can share
       I can't get enough of this kind of love
                     This kind of love


Thanks Ray

Consequences..............

Sunday's verse..................

Jesus said to them, My food is to do the will of Him who sent
Me, and to accomplish his work.
-John 4:34

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works
that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these
shall he do; because I go to the Father.
-John 14:12

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask
whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.
-John 15:7

Do not judge lest you be judged.
For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by
your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
Mathew 7:1-2

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed
down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into
your lap.  for by your standard of measure it will be
measured to you in return.
-Luke 6:38

Checking in with the Ragamuffin..............






















Thanks Nicole

On rowing.................

Wish I had a hat like that..................

Spanky and Our Gang.........Sunday Will Never Be the Same