Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fun with real estate listings

If you've never had the chance to browse real estate listings, you should do so, as they are quite fun. As a consideration to you, I have decided to pick out some common and bizarre phrases used in listings to interpret them for your benefit. I am glad I wrote these out earlier today, because I'm pretty out of it now. Let's hope I made sense when I first wrote these! All listing descriptions are [sic].

An Absolute cream puff!! A true beauty!!! [...] A MUST SEE!! WILL NOT LAST!!!

Days on market: 520+. Newer water heater: installed 1988. Cream puff: went stale a long time ago.

Location! Look no further! Come see this immaculate home that is move-in condition. This home boasts LOCATION in desirable [development] in the [name of] school district. [...] Excellent location, close to swim club, Tee off around the corner at the Country club, near shopping malls, public transportation, 5 minutes to [interstate]. This brick-front colonial - bi-level is waiting for a new family.... YOU! You will not be disappointed, Mrs. Clean lives hear.

Is Mrs. Clean bald, too? P.S. - LOCATION near Country Club whose membership a new family (.... YOU!) cannot afford.

[Neighborhood]! One of the Best Neighborhoods in [town]! Very Warm & Inviting Home..So much has been updated!! [...] Make your appointment today!!

Don't wait until tomorrow! The appointment! It must be made...today!!

This 5 bedroom 2 1/2 bath beauty sits on a private cul de sac This home features 4 finished levels of living. Large Family room with full wall gas fire place, finished hardwood floors through out, Large eat in kitchen,updated kitchen and baths,upgraded lighting,heating and A/C,Deck, storage shed, attached garage,finished basement with kitchen. This property has too many great things to list must see.

Translation: not that many great things to write about.

REDUCED! Beautiful [area] colonial located on quiet cul-de-sac in great neighborhood. Very private setting. [...] Nice 20x40 inground pool with safety gate is perfect on those hot summer days. The kitchen needs some updating but the space and potential is there. Don't let this be a drive-by, stop and take a look, you won't be disappointed.

Key words: "great neighborhood," "potential," "needs some updating," "[not] a drive-by." Those key words, combined with useless rambling about the summertime, means this house is a dump. Anything that says it's not a drive-by means it might resemble an actual drive-by shooting.

PRICE REDUCED!!! This perfect single family home has updated windows, 7 yr old roof and a 1yr AHS home warranty. It has a large private back yard for playing and a 20 x 20 ft patio for entertaining. [...] Only minutes from major highways and terrific schools. Just what you've been looking for!!! Sellers are motivated, And offer $5,000 back at settlement for closing costs!!!

So perfect we've reduced the price and are offering cash back! COME PLAY IN THE YARD!!

Spacious upgraded home in desirable [town]. Possible in-law suite. [...] Plenty of room for the growing family. Full appliance package. A must see!

Possible in-law suite = shed. You must see this laughable listing!

Huge home with tons of potential!!!! Super large 5 bedroom home in desirable [development]. Large finished basement with wetbar and separate den or study. Extra large master bedroom with really cool roof top deck to relax on in the evening or catch some sun during the day. This is a place to call home for many years to come, original owner here..could you be next?

Hmmm, "tons of potential" followed by a million exclamation points, original owner...I really, truly hope I'm not next, unless I want to move into a 1977 time capsule.

Close to [town's] new "[Supermarket]" Shopping Center, the infamous [Name of] Mall, public transportation and major roadways and highways. Home shows beautiful. This home will not last. Ready for quick delivery.

Infamous?

Move right into this outstanding home. Pride of ownership is evident from the gleaming hardwood floors to the updated kitchen and baths. Home is located on a fenced level oversized lot, fabulous landscaping with brick paver walkway. Home features kitchen with oak cabinets,double self-cleaning oven,disposal,insta-hot,soffit lighting,pergo floors, recessed lights thruout. Great room with custom built ins. Hardwood floors and upgraded carpeting enhance this wonderful home. Outside you will find newer vinyl siding,sprinkler system,pella storm door,security lighting,shed and newer roof. Home has alarm system to central station. Home has a one car garage which has been converted to a storage/oversized laundry/mud room owner will convert back if requested.

Me fail English? That's unpossible! Pride of ownership evident by worn appearance and outdated appliances.

What a nice Ranch home and with a oversized 2 car garage with a LIFT!. The perfect home and a great garage too! This home has a great flow and has been well cared for. [...] Large laundry room located in basement with countertop area for folding and your TV. Big enough to keep your ironing board up all the time! Basement somewhat finished, sitting area with tv and pool table area for your pool game.

Ebb and flow fits perfectly into quasi-finished basement and stunning laundry room.

Don't miss this immaculate 4 bed, 2.5 bath home in [development]. This great home features a finished basement, a gas fireplace, 9 foot ceilings, an oversized 2 car garage, and many other upgrades. Location, loacation, location, minutes from everything.

So close to everything, you don't even need to stay in your crappy immaculate new home!

The full basement is professionally finished for additional living area (pool table neg.); Anderson windows t/o plus new thermal tilt-in windows on the front are all additional features of this well-maintained home. The roof, gas heat, central air have all been replaced within the past 10 years. Desirable neighborhood, excellent schools, close to shopping, transportation, etc. A pleasure to show; quick settlement possible.

Free orgasm with every showing; pool table negotiable.

Make an offer.... MOTIVATED OWNER. Reduced rate financing with acceptable offer.

Translation: don't offer anything less than $5,000 under asking price.

"Stunning" best describes this updated [development] bi-level home. This house features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, new state of the art kitchen with Mills pride cabinets, hardwood floors and new carpet, new doors, new brick patio, family room with fireplace and much more. This house is in outstanding condition and is easy to show.

You will be "stunned" by the condition of this house. Bring barf bags!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Curt Schilling talks with SI

Alex Belth interviewed Curt Schilling about his blog, and the man had a lot of interesting things to say. For example:
SI.com: Are you familiar with the statistical-minded Internet sites like Baseball Prospectus?

Schilling: Yeah, I love those guys. I don't always agree with them but I think those are some incredibly smart guys. I've actually worked in the past with some guys there on statistical stuff I do for preparation. Will Carroll is the guy I've exchanged some information with.

SI.com: Do you think that Internet-based baseball analysts and writers should be available for BBWAA awards and Hall of Fame voting?

Schilling: Oh, it'll come full-circle at some point. Why wouldn't it? They already have a much larger impact than the Murray Chass' of the world would like to believe. I mean, you've got guys who are putting out what I know to be legitimately valuable statistical information and its relevance to a game in a win or a loss at Baseball Prospectus. Then you have guys that I'm not too fond of, like Murray Chass, who says, "What is VORP and who cares?" It was a stupid article. The only thing it did was show his ignorance to me in modern day baseball. Because those numbers do matter, those numbers do have value. Do they have value to me in getting a player out? No. But I would tell you that there are a lot of front offices that use those numbers for a lot of important decision making.

From the '01 World Series to the bloody sock in '04, I absolutely do not like Curt Schilling as a player. He joins Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller among sports opponents I despise. As a person, though, he seems interesting, and I may have to make his blog regular reading.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Aw, it's a puppy


Thumbelina, a five year old dwarf miniature horse, slides underneath the pasture fencing at Goose Creek Farms in St. Louis, MO on Fri. October 3, 2006. At 17.5 inches, she is the smallest living horse in the world, and holds the record for the smallest horse in history. (AP Photo/Sarah Conard)

I wonder if there are dwarf horses and miniature horses that are not dwarf miniature horses.

Also, I seem to remember a cartoon which had a pint-sized horse, but I can't remember. Glad I could share that with you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Do I heart Mike Huckabee?

Recently, I have had the pleasure to evaluate how I will vote in the future. Not just for the presidential primary, but for all things. Recently, there have been rumblings regarding the Democrats bowing down to an invasion of Iran ("Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the leadership had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran."). If the Democrats allow Bush to go into Iran, I will no longer vote for them just to not vote for a Republican, because as far as I'm concerned they will no longer be the "lesser of two evils." I also won't feel like I'm "throwing my vote away" by voting third party, as I am throwing my vote away by voting for Democrats if they don't even stand up for basic common sense.

Today I tuned into NPR and caught the end of an interview with Republican Mike Huckabee. It started with this question, "What role should personal faith play with candidates when separation of church and state is mandated by law?" (paraphrased), which came in at the 11 minute mark of the interview. His answer was remarkably enlightened, discussing how his faith plays a role in his concern for children "after the birth canal," his need to leave the environment better than we found it, and his respect for California Representative Pete Stark admitted atheism, saying that at least Stark is honest about his beliefs. The next question dealt with immigration, and Huckabee said he wanted to build a fence between Mexico and the U.S., a policy I disagree with. However, his reasons were presented in a logical way.

I'm always wary of politicians and their pretty words, especially Republicans, but Huckabee has a certain appeal. He's certainly better than Rudy Giuliani, a two-faced politician that is in the process of switching positions he held as mayor regarding guns and abortion, among others. He also personally oversaw the Disney-ification of Times Square, hid the homeless without correcting the problem, and tried to ruin the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

The day Mark Mothersbaugh gave me a surprise

Spudboy alert:
On Friday April 6th, Bambi Gallery presents a first-Friday opening of artist Mark Mothersbaugh’s on-going series “POSTCARD DIARIES”, one of two separate series the founding member of the music group DEVO is showing in a run of gallery tours through 2007. This showing at Bambi of the “POSTCARD DIARIES” will be the first Philadelphia exhibition of these select works by this musical originator and ever-busy visual artist.
* * *
These images began as actual postcards; personal assemblages and drawn images conjured and rendered between shows and soundchecks, often sent to friends and family while Mothersbaugh was on the road with DEVO.
* * *
Bambi Gallery was approached specifically for this exhibition…an artist of Mark Mothersbaugh’s renown and scope could arguably show in any venue of his own choosing, but the interior intimacy and outsider-cred of Bambi appears to have fit the bill for this particular artist and his approach.

I am definitely looking forward to this, despite the fact I know there will be a thousand indie hipsters swinging around their messenger bags.

Monday, March 19, 2007

February AotM: Angel Witch - Frontal Assault

February's album of the month was 1986's Frontal Assault by NWOBHM cult classic Angel Witch. Their biggest album was their self-titled 1980 release, and their collection of demos entitled Resurrection, released in 2000, has also been popular amongst fans, but the group released two albums in the mid-80s that have been lost in obscurity thanks to being long out of print and unavailable on CD.

The second of those "lost" albums, Frontal Assault doesn't have the same doomy feel that the debut album had, instead showing a bit more polish, but the sinister edge is still in evidence. The addition of David Tattum on vocals adds a nice sound to the band, replacing founding guitarist Kevin Heybourne's thick British shouts and wails with more melodic cries. Both vocals fit the band, curiously enough, but Tattum had a more refined approach, fitting the (slightly) altered approach of the band.

Fans that may have avoided tracking down this album because of its apparent diversion from traditional Angel Witch need not fear; the album has plenty of punch and nasty riffs, as evidenced on tracks like "Take to the Wing" and "Frontal Assault." "Rendezvous With the Blade" has a very early Angel Witch feel, but other songs like "She Don't Lie" demonstrate the band's dabble with commercial aspects. Even with those touches, the band didn't have much of a mainstream appeal, at least not with songs like "Religion (Born Again)," which contained lyrics including
Religion, Religion
Keep your born again Christianity and hypocrisy from me
Religion, it's your religion
You will never brainwash me to see that this world can be saved

Not exactly Top of the Pops.

There are a lot of complainers that don't like this record, but I say fuck 'em, Frontal Assault is a solid album by a wonderful band, and any NWOBHM, traditional heavy metal, or Angel Witch fan should check it out. To compliment the review, here's an interesting video from the tour for this album. It's a Black Sabbath song performed by Angel Witch together with Satan, a vastly underrated power metal band that probably suffered for its name due to the fact they weren't the least bit Satanic (although name issues never really bothered fellow power metal band Helloween). In any event, it's a cool video for fans of obscure British 80's metal bands.