Mid-Week Open Thread (2012-04-04)

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Here is your open thread for the mid-week on April 4th, 2012. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!


About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

82 comments:

  1. 1

    Nice Condition Listed Homes for the Price of a Toyota Rav?

    You bet. Some sell for the price of Kias too…

    Take a look at the outside of these beauties, the brick one in Detroit looks better than most half million dollar Seattle 2 bdrms Tim listed recently. The roofs on some look brand new BTW.

    http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/homes-for-the-price-of-a-car.html

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  2. 2

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – I wonder if those are current photos or old listing photos. My guess would be the latter.

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  3. 3
    Pegasus says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – That just shows how much new cars are overpriced in comparison to housing. 8^)

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  4. 4
    T. Y. Lee says:

    My dad’s house in Vegas sold for $20,000. It was a 4 bed 1 bath, 1150 sq ft.

    http://www.redfin.com/NV/Las-Vegas/1301-Gold-Ave-89106/home/29338099

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  5. 5
    redmondjp says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 – The problem is, the City of Detroit is circling the drain as we speak, with at best a state-appointed emergency financial manager coming this year, or bankruptcy (inevitable IMO). Who wants to live there? The nicest unoccupied home is nothing more than a nocternal source of scrap metal and shelter for illegal activities, not to mention arsonbait.

    It’s amazing to think that Detroit was America’s 5th largest city 60 years ago with almost 2 million people living there. And look at it now (but of course, that could NEVER happen here, right? I mean, we’ve got Boeing and Amazon and Microsoft and Google and Starbucks and Norstrom’s and biotech and they will never leave, right? RIGHT???).

    The only thing that makes real estate valuable is the desire of other people to occupy that same space. And that value is not so much in the structure as in the land itself. When nobody wants to be on that land, it really doesn’t matter how nice the structure is that is sitting on top of it. Witness Detroit, Flint, Cleveland, etc.

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  6. 6
    Scotsman says:

    Nice little easy to understand 5 minute explanation of the economic trap we’re in:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2nUUsPWfV00

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  7. 7
    Scotsman says:

    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 4

    I’m surprised more of these aren’t snapped up by folks looking to retire, etc. Sell the home in Seattle and have the money to travel, buy a smnall place in the Vegas sun, etc.

    What? You Heloc’d the equity and bought a couple of new cars, paid off the credit cards (which you then loaded up again) and took that once in a lifetime vacation? Oh well . . .

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  8. 8
    T. Y. Lee says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 7 – Well, to be fair, that house had a dead body buried in the backyard and it was all over the local news. O_O

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  9. 9
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 6:

    Nice little easy to understand 5 minute explanation of the economic trap we’re in:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2nUUsPWfV00

    doesn’t it mention our $1 trillion dollar output gap?

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  10. 10
    Scotsman says:

    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 8

    OK, I’ll take the bait- we can’t leave it here. Who’s body? ;-)

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  11. 11
    redmondjp says:

    By Scotsman @ 7:

    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 4

    I’m surprised more of these aren’t snapped up by folks looking to retire, etc. Sell the home in Seattle and have the money to travel, buy a smnall place in the Vegas sun, etc.

    What? You Heloc’d the equity and bought a couple of new cars, paid off the credit cards (which you then loaded up again) and took that once in a lifetime vacation? Oh well . . .

    You bring up a very good point. Over the next 5-10 years, a majority of the coal-fired power plants in this country are going to be shut down (thanks to the EPA), in line with Obama’s “electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket” prediction. Since most of this country is powered by coal (and did you know that Puget Sound Energy’s largest power source is the Coalstrip coal-fired plant in Montana?), power rates can go nowhere but up.

    This means that it’s going to become prohibitively expensive to heat one’s residence in the northern parts of this country, thus driving down the value of the land in these areas even further. So if you want to invest in land, choose a part of the country with a temperate or warm climate.

    I’ve been “all-electric” for heat at my house this past month while waiting for a new gas furnace installation, and the power bill (including some gas use for hot water, clothes drying, and cooking) was close to $400, for a 1400 SF rambler. Ouch!

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  12. 12
    pfft says:

    It used to be that the ADP report was cut and pasted before I got here…

    Company Payrolls in U.S. Grow by Estimated 209,000 Workers
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-04/adp-estimates-companies-in-u-s-added-209-000-jobs-in-march.html

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  13. 13
    pfft says:

    By redmondjp @ 11:

    By Scotsman @ 7:
    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 4

    I’m surprised more of these aren’t snapped up by folks looking to retire, etc. Sell the home in Seattle and have the money to travel, buy a smnall place in the Vegas sun, etc.

    What? You Heloc’d the equity and bought a couple of new cars, paid off the credit cards (which you then loaded up again) and took that once in a lifetime vacation? Oh well . . .

    You bring up a very good point. Over the next 5-10 years, a majority of the coal-fired power plants in this country are going to be shut down (thanks to the EPA), in line with Obama’s “electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket” prediction.

    link please.

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  14. 14

    RE: pfft @ 13 – It was news only about a week ago, but shutting down the plants would be an extension of the rules.

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/27/10886373-end-of-coal-power-plants-epa-proposes-new-rules

    The skyrocket statement is probably based on this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlTxGHn4sH4

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  15. 15
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: pfft @ 13

    Pfft. It’s called Google. Try it some time.

    I know it’s hard for an O Man Fluffer like you to, you know, work at something, as your kind of mind is always expecting some one else to do the work and have the benefits redistributed to you. You’re just used to regurgitating the party line and if it’s not in an edition of Pravda, oops, I mean the Daily Kos, Huf Po, NYT, etc, you just can’t seem to find anything. So get off your duff and try getting out of the echo chamber for once.

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  16. 16

    RE: No Name Guy @ 15 – That’s not fair. After all it took about a whole 10-15 seconds for me to do the search which found the first link (it was already in my browser history, which made it a bit easier to find). The second one took maybe a minute to try to find some idea of how valid the claim was. You can’t expect pfft to spend that much time on things! /sarc

    Try making the same claim in a week and watch the process repeat. Pfft has a memory problem.

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  17. 17
    Scotsman says:

    pffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffft ft.

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  18. 18
    Macro Investor says:

    By redmondjp @ 11:

    By Scotsman @ 7:
    You bring up a very good point. Over the next 5-10 years, a majority of the coal-fired power plants in this country are going to be shut down (thanks to the EPA)

    Unfortunately, it’s too late for voters to wise up and vote for Ron Paul. He thinks the EPA is unconstitutional. We’ll all be sorry someday, whether we realize it now or not.

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  19. 19
    Macro Investor says:

    By redmondjp @ 5:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 1 And look at it now (but of course, that could NEVER happen here, right? I mean, we’ve got Boeing and Amazon and Microsoft and Google and Starbucks and Norstrom’s and biotech and they will never leave, right? RIGHT???).

    Is there anyone out there who doesn’t realize Boeing has one foot out the door? Probably less well known… a lot of the biotechs lost their funding during “the crash”. Many are gone.

    BTW, good snark.

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  20. 20
    ARDELL says:

    Has anyone had a “health faucet” installed?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal_cleansing

    One of my clients is asking for this in a new construction home, but my gut feeling is it would detract from the value vs enhance the value of the home.

    Any thoughts?

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  21. 21
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 20

    Too much work. Suggest a disposable chuugi instead:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuugi

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  22. 22
    pfft says:

    By No Name Guy @ 15:

    RE: pfft @ 13

    Pfft. It’s called Google. Try it some time.

    I know it’s hard for an O Man Fluffer like you to, you know, work at something, as your kind of mind is always expecting some one else to do the work and have the benefits redistributed to you. You’re just used to regurgitating the party line and if it’s not in an edition of Pravda, oops, I mean the Daily Kos, Huf Po, NYT, etc, you just can’t seem to find anything. So get off your duff and try getting out of the echo chamber for once.

    so what you’re saying is that me asking for evidence of a claim that someone else made is me wanting someone to do my work for me? way to turn that around on me.

    Anything I post I will always gladly back up with links and facts if needed. that is not something that should be that hard to do. brilliant though trying to put me on the defensive. not going to work though.

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  23. 23
    FenceSitter says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 21
    I was thinking more along the lines of this:
    http://tinyurl.com/7wzvvfk

    The seat is even heated!

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  24. 24

    RE: ARDELL @ 20 – Do you mean a bidet? That’s in your link.

    I don’t think those affect value that much one way or the other.

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  25. 25
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 16:

    RE: No Name Guy @ 15 – That’s not fair. After all it took about a whole 10-15 seconds for me to do the search which found the first link (it was already in my browser history, which made it a bit easier to find). The second one took maybe a minute to try to find some idea of how valid the claim was. You can’t expect pfft to spend that much time on things! /sarc

    Try making the same claim in a week and watch the process repeat. Pfft has a memory problem.

    it’s not my job to prove what someone else has told me. it’s their job!

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  26. 26

    RE: pfft @ 22 – Nice try. You repeatedly feign ignorance of issues already discussed by writing: “Link?”

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  27. 27
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    No…it would be a hand held sprinkler next to each and every toilet. Same principle as a bidet…but a toilet accessory.

    It was fun when the builder called me today to ask what a “health faucet” was. I was hoping he would have googled it on his own. I think maybe he knew what it was, but wanted to hear me explain it to him. :)

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  28. 28
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    That is soooooo 2001. Say it slowly- ” h.e.a.l.t.h. f.a.u.c.e.t.”

    Or see #23 above. The Rocket Launcher. Amazon sells everything these days. ;-0

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  29. 29
    pfft says:

    Good god people you are awful and can’t read.

    The proposed rules would affect only new plants, not existing plants, which was a concession to industry. In addition, they would not apply to units that will start construction within the next 12 months.

    considering the damage they do to the environment and public health it probably doesn’t go far enough. we need a tax on carbon.

    by the way nobody noticed that it favors natural gas plants which don’t pollute as bad and which is in pretty good supply now…

    There are plenty of options to coal plants that are causing climate change. we have nat gas, solar, wind, smart grid, conservation and just plain using a little less.

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  30. 30
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:

    RE: pfft @ 22 – Nice try. You repeatedly feign ignorance of issues already discussed by writing: “Link?”

    I did not know that the new rules would shutdown most coal plants because it’s not true.

    how hard is it to link to your source? I do it it all the time. it’s not a big deal. keep trying to turn this around on me…it ain’t workin for you guys so far.

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  31. 31
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    You don’t think it would look odd enough hanging next to the toilet, in the guest powder room as example on the main floor, to detract from the value of the home?

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  32. 32
    pfft says:

    I was just reading the previous open thread…ha ha!

    By Macro Investor @ 40:

    By Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 39:
    Pfft amuses me. He is like Don Quixote, “Tilting at Windmills.” He is the Seattle Bubble Muse. He is attacking imaginary enemies. Poor Pfft.

    Don’t feel sorry for Pfft. He’s paid to do this. There are PR firms that specialize in blogging in order to influence your opinions. Notice how all his comments are quickly written with no punctuation or capitalization. He’s probably doing this on several blogs all at the same time, under different alias’s. He has prepared answers that always get back to Obama/Democrats good, everything’s fine, etc, etc…

    Here is a list of companies that specialize in finding assistant online writers. They pay by the word, generally. So that’s why the blogging is very rushed – just a stream of words.

    http://reviewopedia.com/workathome/writing-jobs/

    If you doubt what I’m saying, just notice how social media sites like facebook have a lot of company sponsored pages. McDonalds wants to “friend” you ;)

    the answer is simple. I am much younger than most of you so I can type fast. I also really don’t care about grammar on the internet that much. I also read a lot of blogs so I generally know about stuff a few hours or even a day earlier than you guys do! probably again because you guys are so much older than me.;) love the conspiracy theories though.

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  33. 33
    pfft says:

    “under different alias’s.”

    Do I see an error there?

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  34. 34

    By pfft @ 30:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:
    RE: pfft @ 22 – Nice try. You repeatedly feign ignorance of issues already discussed by writing: “Link?”

    I did not know that the new rules would shutdown most coal plants because it’s not true.

    how hard is it to link to your source? I do it it all the time. it’s not a big deal. keep trying to turn this around on me…it ain’t workin for you guys so far.

    Once again your memory sucks. It was only in post 14 above, not even five hours ago, that I said in referring to the article: ” [B]ut shutting down the plants would be an extension of the rules.” Thus it was already addressed that the rules proposed did not yet do that.

    And once again, you cannot read simple English. When I say “repeatedly” obviously I’m not talking about just this one issue!

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  35. 35

    By pfft @ 32:

    I I also read a lot of blogs so I generally know about stuff a few hours or even a day earlier than you guys do!

    Which of course explains why you didn’t know of the news story from just over a week ago.

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  36. 36

    By ARDELL @ 31:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    You don’t think it would look odd enough hanging next to the toilet, in the guest powder room as example on the main floor, to detract from the value of the home?

    My concern would be that it would be viewed as a poor man’s bidet, or a make-shift bidet substitute. If you’ve building new (I don’t remember), why not just put in a bidet if you want that sort of thing? If you want to go make-shift, put in a built-in Tucks dispenser. ;-)

    BTW, the house my parents built over in Kitsap county in 1974 had a bidet.

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  37. 37
    redmondjp says:

    By pfft @ 30:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:
    RE: pfft @ 22 – Nice try. You repeatedly feign ignorance of issues already discussed by writing: “Link?”

    I did not know that the new rules would shutdown most coal plants because it’s not true.

    how hard is it to link to your source? I do it it all the time. it’s not a big deal. keep trying to turn this around on me…it ain’t workin for you guys so far.

    Pfft, one of my sources is this utility-industry website: http://energyprospects.com/cgi-bin/front_display.pl (free subscription required, you have to give them an email address and pick a password). Coal plant EPA compliance is a frequent topic.

    If the existing coal-fired plants cannot find an economically-viable way to comply with the ever-stringent EPA regulations, they will close down. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. We are not building replacement power plants (including “green” ones) anywhere fast enough to replace the output from existing coal plants.

    And another article on this same website has some startling details on the massive federal subsidies about to expire for wind power as compared to other forms of energy used for electricity production (here’s an excerpt):

    “Benjamin Zycher from the American Enterprise Institute, however, called for ending energy-specific tax preferences. In 2010, he said, wind received $52.48 per MWh generated in federal subsidies, compared to 63 cents/MWh for gas, 64 cents/MWh for coal, and 84 cents/MWh for hydro. ”

    Does anybody else find it disturbing that the federal wind subsidies are TWO ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE higher than for all other types of energy? How many wind farms do you think would exist without this significant federal subsidy? Now, how is this a viable power source again?

    The more I do my homework, the more I realize how truly dark (ooh, bad pun) the future looks for our country. We are now tearing out dams (of which many of the early ones were privately-financed) that have been providing clean, renewable “zero carbon” energy for a century, and thinking that massively-subsidized windpower (which sometimes has no output at all) is going to replace it.

    At any rate, I agree with Obama 100% on this: Electricity rates WILL necessarily skyrocket.

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  38. 38
    redmondjp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 36:

    By ARDELL @ 31:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    You don’t think it would look odd enough hanging next to the toilet, in the guest powder room as example on the main floor, to detract from the value of the home?

    My concern would be that it would be viewed as a poor man’s bidet, or a make-shift bidet substitute. If you’ve building new (I don’t remember), why not just put in a bidet if you want that sort of thing? If you want to go make-shift, but in a built-in Tucks dispenser. ;-)

    BTW, the house my parents built over in Kitsap county in 1974 had a bidet.

    I am really surprised that the hi-tech (yes, microprocessors and everything) toilets that are all the rage in Japan (Wikipedia says that 72% of Japanese households have one) have never caught on in this country, even for the 1%. Warm water jets, warm air drying, heated seat, and deodorizer! Here’s one of the most popular ones:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washlet

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  39. 39

    RE: ARDELL @ 31
    Sure the “health faucet is going to detract from the value of the house, but the purpose of having an anus cleanser installed in your house isn’t for investment puposes. Your client must feel the need for it, a need I wouldn’t question too intently:)

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  40. 40
    David Losh says:

    RE: redmondjp @ 37

    Wind, and solar are personal energy options. It’s funny to me how people want big companies to supply them with everything. We will have persoanal solar, and wind generation that will pay for themselves.

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  41. 41
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 39

    I spent a lot of the day dealing with septic and sewer connection issues for a different client. It’s been a poop of a day, Ira!

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  42. 42
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 36

    Because they want them for all toilets. Can you have a bidet in the children’s bathroom and the guest powder room? I’ve been in some pretty pricey homes…many millions even…and I’ve yet to see more than one bidet in a house and only in the master bathroom. Well, and in a hotel in France.

    I always thought bidets were about violent love vs poop and only used by women.

    I’m so glad there’s an “open thread” over here. Where else could I possibly bring up THIS issue? :)

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  43. 43
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 34:

    By pfft @ 30:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:
    RE: pfft @ 22 – Nice try. You repeatedly feign ignorance of issues already discussed by writing: “Link?”

    I did not know that the new rules would shutdown most coal plants because it’s not true.

    how hard is it to link to your source? I do it it all the time. it’s not a big deal. keep trying to turn this around on me…it ain’t workin for you guys so far.

    Once again your memory sucks. It was only in post 14 above, not even five hours ago, that I said in referring to the article: ” [B]ut shutting down the plants would be an extension of the rules.” Thus it was already addressed that the rules proposed did not yet do that.

    And once again, you cannot read simple English. When I say “repeatedly” obviously I’m not talking about just this one issue!

    1. the rule only applies to new plants
    2. we don’t know the rules that will be in place for existing plants because they haven’t been enacted yet. we don’t know what will happen so we certainly can’t say that it will shut down a majority of coal plants. it may shut down some but that would be welcome. there are tons of grandfathered coal plants that are polluting without any compensation to those who are harmed. that is why we need a pollution tax.

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  44. 44
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    By pfft @ 32:
    I I also read a lot of blogs so I generally know about stuff a few hours or even a day earlier than you guys do!

    Which of course explains why you didn’t know of the news story from just over a week ago.

    you guys were wrong about the story…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  45. 45
    pfft says:

    By redmondjp @ 37:

    By pfft @ 30:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:
    RE: pfft @ 22 – Nice try. You repeatedly feign ignorance of issues already discussed by writing: “Link?”

    I did not know that the new rules would shutdown most coal plants because it’s not true.

    how hard is it to link to your source? I do it it all the time. it’s not a big deal. keep trying to turn this around on me…it ain’t workin for you guys so far.

    We are not building replacement power plants (including “green” ones) anywhere fast enough to replace the output from existing coal plants.

    link please and I will also need another source besides the AEI.

    you know why the AEI goes by per megawatt? because not only are the other sources more mature but they on an absolute basis have much bigger subsidies and they don’t account for negative externalities which run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

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  46. 46
    DanW says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 39
    The house I bought a few months ago had them installed in all of the toilets…

    For me it did not “detract” because the hose is a simple t-joint on the standard water supply to the toilet itself and is very easy to remove.

    For my wife – who is Japanese – she hated them!

    So – does it “detract”? I suppose it depends on how the installation is done, and whether people can get past the idea of removing a t-piece from the water supply :-)

    Personally though, I had this removed and toto toilets with washlets installed (I’ve just moved here from Japan, and I love them, plus keeping the wife happy made this a no brainer!) (well there was the cost of installing an electric outlet in each toilet made it more tricky :0)

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  47. 47

    RE: pfft @ 44RE: pfft @ 43 – Read my post 14 again. Are you completely illiterate? I said there that the current rule didn’t go as far as what was being suggested.

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  48. 48
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 39

    Hey…I’m only in charge of the real estate part of it. :)

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  49. 49
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 39

    “but the purpose of having an anus cleanser installed in your house isn’t for investment puposes.”

    Right. It’s to help get chicks!

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  50. 50
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 42 – How much can a $500 dollar item (even times three) detract from the value of a $1.4M home? Don’t like it? It can be gone by Monday and no one will ever know.

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  51. 51

    By Scotsman @ 50:

    RE: ARDELL @ 42 – How much can a $500 dollar item (even times three) detract from the value of a $1.4M home? Don’t like it? It can be gone by Monday and no one will ever know.

    Exactly! In the case of high end homes you could even say the same thing about the kitchen cabinets. They might be unacceptable because they’re just sooo 2004.

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  52. 52

    On the topic of electricity, amazing how fragile California’s system is still.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jBUVFCC3trr3dYCCfQQ0hsNcdWJA?docId=b7eec7074413457ebc92ca2da47b5593

    At least they’re apparently actually building some transmission lines, but their generating capacity is still sad.

    And on the topic at hand (coal powered plants), in another thread I said the stimulus should have been used more for things that would have been productive going forward. Given President Obama’s policies on coal reflected in that video clip above, seemingly it would have been a good idea to upgrade many of the coal plants with low interest loans or even subsidies. That would have provided jobs, helped the economy going forward, and helped the economy (assuming significant improvements in coal burning are possible).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  53. 53
    Dirty Renter says:

    By ARDELL @ 27:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    No…it would be a hand held sprinkler next to each and every toilet. Same principle as a bidet…but a toilet accessory.

    It was fun when the builder called me today to ask what a “health faucet” was. I was hoping he would have googled it on his own. I think maybe he knew what it was, but wanted to hear me explain it to him. :)

    Will said ‘health faucet’ be installed North or South of I-90?

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  54. 54
    johnnybigspenda says:

    A new housing index announced by Trulia based on ‘asking prices’. Supposed to give more a future view as opposed to looking backwards 3 months like Case Shiller.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/04/trulia-announces-new-mix-adjusted-house.html

    Heat map shows Seattle is still falling. Some areas of the country are increasing.

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  55. 55
  56. 56
    The Tim says:

    By johnnybigspenda @ 54:

    A new housing index announced by Trulia based on ‘asking prices’. Supposed to give more a future view as opposed to looking backwards 3 months like Case Shiller.

    Not sure how that’s any different than what Altos Research has been doing for years…

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  57. 57

    By The Tim @ 56:

    By johnnybigspenda @ 54:
    A new housing index announced by Trulia based on ‘asking prices’. Supposed to give more a future view as opposed to looking backwards 3 months like Case Shiller.

    Not sure how that’s any different than what Altos Research has been doing for years…

    It it’s Trulia it probably only includes part of the listings and listings which are no longer on the market.

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  58. 58
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 57 – Oh, snap! Good point! ;^)

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  59. 59
    deejayoh says:

    By The Tim @ 56:

    By johnnybigspenda @ 54:
    A new housing index announced by Trulia based on ‘asking prices’. Supposed to give more a future view as opposed to looking backwards 3 months like Case Shiller.

    Not sure how that’s any different than what Altos Research has been doing for years…

    Well, the Trulia index is for the MSA (which is Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue), unlike Altos, which gives trends for a specific city or even neighborhood. So it’s (IMO) considerably less useful in terms of predictive value given the range of properties covered by a single number. Home prices in desirable neighborhoods are firm/rising, while in outlying places they are still dropping quite quickly. How useful is the average of the two to a home buyer?

    But since it shows the market falling vs. Altos showing the city rising – I guess it depends on what point you’d like to make.

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  60. 60
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Dirty Renter @ 53

    “Will said ‘health faucet’ be installed North or South of I-90? ”

    To “B” or not to “B”, that is the question. The North/South issue is mearly an issue of economics. And such a dilemma for the avid environmentalists. Is it better to conserve on paper or water? But if you want to be “economical” about it, I’m pretty sure its a “no-brainer” as long as your heads not up your inside passage. This is the northwest and the incremental cost of a couple of gallons of water per month is essentially zero while paper costs over 50 cents a roll costing the average family about $5/month

    As to whether the demand is north or south of I-90, in the end (so to speak) household income won’t matter because I think there’s both a cost and an environmental benefit to conversion. If we can show people that the capital cost to convert from paper to water is cost effective, I’m sure there are plenty of A-holes on both sides of the freeway and the demand will be right up the Mt Baker tunnel.

    We may need a small tankless hot water heater to avoid the goldilock’s, this ones too hot and this ones too cold problem, but we have the technology to make it work. Somebody should do a more thorough cost study to see how long it would take to amortize the installation cost based upon the likely savings based upon water used being cheaper than paper. We’ll need a lobbyist to get a tax credit enacted for saving trees and creating green jobs. Then we can start green companies to profit from the unleashed demand.

    I feel good about this. I’m going to get rich by starting a company installing what I always though was a drinking fountain for the dog. I’ll be an environmental entreprenuer. I’ll be a god in the retro-fit plumbing industry, and everybody knows they make way more money than lawyers. Is this a great country or what.

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  61. 61

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 60 – Just think how much better off we’d be today If only President Obama had spent more of the stimulus money on converting houses to health faucets. Although possibly that program would have been held up in litigation over the Butt Washing Mandate.

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  62. 62
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 60

    “If we can show people that the capital cost to convert from paper to water is cost effective”

    Whoa- just stop right there. We’ll need to dry after washing, so either the toilet paper stays (or some substitute) or we’ll need an electric hair dryer type unit. Now we’re talking spraying water mixed in with electrical cords and heating elements in a constricted and somewhat risky environment. I’m not gonna play. I see a future of fried matzo balls, boiled bratwurst, or the classic “little smokies” on the menu if ya know what I mean. And I know you do.

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  63. 63
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 62

    golly those trial lawyers! We need tort reform!

    But the more I think about it, that blow dryer issue is peaking my interest (prurient though it may be). This thing could create its own demand. If I can solve the “little smokies” problem and put a flat screen with cable across from the bowl I could have the biggest money maker since the tribes brought gaming out of Nevada.

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  64. 64

    RE: Scotsman @ 62 – With the Butt Washing Mandate you’ll be required to buy and use the “Obamablower.” If you don’t, $500 a year will be taken from your tax return.

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  65. 65
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 63

    Yeah, it’ll be all money and glory until Homeland Security breaks into your house and discovers your wife has taken the tag off her hair dryer- then it’s over. You’ll be lucky to get a used chuugi in prison. ;-)

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  66. 66
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 64

    +100

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  67. 67
    redmondjp says:

    By Scotsman @ 62:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 60

    “If we can show people that the capital cost to convert from paper to water is cost effective”

    Whoa- just stop right there. We’ll need to dry after washing, so either the toilet paper stays (or some substitute) or we’ll need an electric hair dryer type unit. Now we’re talking spraying water mixed in with electrical cords and heating elements in a constricted and somewhat risky environment. I’m not gonna play. I see a future of fried matzo balls, boiled bratwurst, or the classic “little smokies” on the menu if ya know what I mean. And I know you do.

    The upper-end Toto Washlet units have a built-in warm air dryer so no paper is required:

    http://www.totousa.com/Washlet/WashletS300.aspx

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  68. 68

    RE: redmondjp @ 67 – Wow! Just what everyone needs! /sarc

    From your link:

    Indulge your senses with the following Washlet S300 features:

    Gentle Aerated Warm Water
    Front and Rear Washing
    Massage Feature

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  69. 69

    RE: The Tim @ 56 – Speaking of Trulia, I just discovered they are doing valuation estimates now. Just what we need–yet another inaccurate tool.

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  70. 70
    Scotsman says:

    RE: redmondjp @ 67

    I don’t know where to start. Maybe here:

    ■Front and Rear Washing
    ■Massage Feature

    Massage? Really? Plus look at that control unit- probably as bad as a VCR or worse- the multi stage, multi zone home thermostat. A guy like me could unintentionally get much more of a workout than he wanted. It’s a fine line between massage and abuse, if ya know what I mean. and- again- I know you do.

    Still, that is a pretty slick and compact installation. Hides the danger well.

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  71. 71
    Scotsman says:

    Oh no! Global warming believers to explode soon:

    Healthy polar bear count confounds doomsayers

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/healthy-polar-bear-count-confounds-doomsayers/article2392523/

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  72. 72

    March numbers are out. Median $330,000, volume 1642.

    Numbers from NWMLS sources but not guaranteed.

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  73. 73
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 71

    Last paragraph from the article: “The Nunavut hunting quota in the western Hudson Bay area fell to 8 from 56 after the 2004 report from Environment Canada. The Nunavut government increased it slightly last year but faced a storm of protest. Over all, about 450 polar bears are killed annually across Nunavut. Mr. Gissing said a new quota is expected to be announced in June.”

    Big mystery solved, hunting quota down by 48.

    Climate change is real. Burning coal is stupid. Only a guy like Warren Buffet, the guy who brought us cut rate insurance, would get behind a 100 year old technology. It probably reminds him of his childhood. He has made a fortune on the gullibility of the masses.

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  74. 74
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Dirty Renter @ 53

    Neither :) It’s been dropped from the list of upgrades as the City won’t grant the CO if you put them in before closing. YAY! I don’t have to go any further with this issue!

    Was North of I-90…Eastside…

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  75. 75
    Blurtman says:

    This thread cannot get much worse.

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  76. 76
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 75 – ‘

    People think real estate is about charts and graphs and crap…but it’s not…sometimes it is about crap…literally. Septic…septic backups…butt washers… :)

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  77. 77
    David Losh says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 76

    The truth can be hilarious.

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  78. 78

    This is odd news. Berkshire Hathaway (sp?) bought a local brokerage.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017918897_prudential06.html

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  79. 79
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 78 – When Berkshire Hathaway talks, people listen. Now is a great time to buy!

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  80. 80
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 52:

    On the topic of electricity, amazing how fragile California’s system is still.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jBUVFCC3trr3dYCCfQQ0hsNcdWJA?docId=b7eec7074413457ebc92ca2da47b5593

    At least they’re apparently actually building some transmission lines, but their generating capacity is still sad.

    those two plants have HUGE generating capacity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Onofre_Nuclear_Generating_Station

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  81. 81
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 71:

    Oh no! Global warming believers to explode soon:

    Healthy polar bear count confounds doomsayers

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/healthy-polar-bear-count-confounds-doomsayers/article2392523/

    if you actually read the article it’s mixed.

    we know that climate change is happening though.

    Recent Warming now Statistically Significant, says Climate Scientist
    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/climatechange/recent-warming-now-statistical-1/51035

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  82. 82
    pfft says:

    You almost can’t believe it.

    JPMorgan Trader Iksil’s Heft Said to Distort Credit Indexes
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-05/jpmorgan-trader-iksil-s-heft-is-said-to-distort-credit-indexes.html

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