I don't know where we are, but I'm sure I just saw a Mojito.
Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Part XX11 of this thread.
Steff-It just occurred to me, you said you studied with a Cuban in University.
What on earth was she doing paying to go to an American University when she could have done it free at home?
Unless she somehow bolted.
Polly-I just did the math and if we could convert every customer to the Dark Blues for just one order, we'd actually have the chateau paid off in one day!
How's that for impressing our new French bank manager. I'll just wink while looking over at you and say, her family-Hollywood CA.
My roommate was born in Havana but left with her mother when she was a child. Her father was a doctor and managed to escape the death squads by making his way to Costa Rica. The family was reunited and began their new life in Texas. So yes, I guess you could say they bolted.
Hmmm. Interesting story Steff. Based on the timelines, it looks like she was there during the days of Bautista and la revolucion. When Castro finally defeated him, for those that remained on the island and were apprehended, there were executions. I have never heard of ordinary Cuban citizens that were ever in danger. The executions were reserved for Bautista's-army-police. Make no mistake, he was a brutal, ruthless, American backed Dictator and 20,000,000 Cubans were very supportive to the Revolution's heroes Che and Fidel for eliminating him.
Prior to Castro, Cuba was America's playground. While the elite came to the island, drank, gambled, philandered, and exploited it's resources (Bacardi etc.), poor Cubans lived like animals in slums. Houses without running water, no medical care, high infant mortality, high poverty, no education, no hope. All the while, Hemingway wrote his famous novels while basking in his quaint Varadero Beach House drinking cold Mojitos.
It would be interesting to hear your friend's perspective on a return trip to their island today.
;;;;;; Sniff Sniff
Steff-Remember a while back when you asked me if I tested the Talaveras for Lead. Well today I found my test kit and did the swabs. And... yes you guessed right, they were Positive :(
As I drown in my bottle of Jack Daniels, in deep depression, I ponder what more could possibly go wrong.
So guys, what we do?
1. Keep the Yellow Talaveras with the notion that you don't really eat off the Kitchen Counters since you use a cutting board. Mind you, you'd think twice about the Cheerios that spill over the bowl and onto the counter. Also, if you see this as a no factor, what about wiping the Kitchen counter to clean? Does lead then go onto my towel?
2. Go to the new modern day Yellow Talavera that my Supplier now makes. Yes, I tested that one and it is negative. Also the new Talavera is much thicker and much stronger and much more perfect in shape. Also, the new Talaveras have absolutely smooth flat surfaces. The old Yellows are pitted, curved, irregular edges etc etc.
3. Go to a non-Yellow ie. White Talavera like photo below. But maintaining the blue edge tiles which I also tested and were negative.
4. Don't worry about since I'm getting Plllog's Kitchen anyways, and she's moving here to get away from all the RAIN :)
5. Be a conformist and do Granite LIKE THE WHOLE WORLD DOES. (Eww Steff- did I actually say that? Us being conformists? No just a bad dream)
For the record, the new Yellow is called Amarillo sobre Blanco Mexicano. And indeed from the side view we see that an actual White tile was painted over with Yellow. Also, it appears to my eye that the last photo of Plllog's Guadalajara Winter condo has this newer style Yellow.
Lead is primarily a problem if there are children or a pregnant woman in the household and you cut or otherwise disturb the glaze. We'd decided that anyone who buys the house would probably want a "normal" kitchen and change it. Here we have to disclose such things as lead to the potential buyer if we know about them. So even if it doesn't present a problem to you now, it may be a problem down the road. Do you know if there are limits on the amount of lead in residential tile that can be installed in Canada? I checked and didn't find anything on tile specifically.
The tiles in the last photo really look very rustic and more like the older style to me so we'll see what plllog votes. How do the new yellows work with the Guadalajara thickness?
What would you do for a backsplash with granite counters? I'm leaning toward granite at this point. We choose what works for us and don't worry about the rest.
So you think my friend would return and declare Cuba an island paradise? She would definitely be surprised to learn that there was never any danger. If you could really read your posts from my perspective. Evil Americans, evil rich people, and so on.
Sol, you have got to stop believing propoganda wholesale. It gets you in trouble.
Back to Colorful Mexican Kitchens, the really yummy reds and oranges do have heavy metals. We've talked about that before. Usually you need a chemical reaction to get the lead to leach out. The "acid" in wine or honey, for instance, pulls the lead out of crystal. Glaze is made out of stuff that's glasslike, so we're talking about similar stuff.
The new ones aren't going to be as charming as the hold, hand made ones. If the new ones are perfectly flat like that they're using an extruder. Still artisan made, but using fancy tools rather than traditional ones. OTOH, I get the but not in the kitchen factor that could make you want to change, especially since you don't have enough of the old ones. You could use the old ones for the backsplash, and buy some blue ones for the counter, or something like that.
Ooops sorry Steff if I have offended. But no bad intention. From various travels to Cuba and after reading several of Fidels's many written books, I no doubt express the Cuban viewpoint. That's because in North America, we are subjected to the US policy against Cuba-trade embargo's, "enemy" etc. That compelled me to investigate the other side and make my own judgement.
All politicians sell but rarely deliver. What intrigued me about Castro was that everything that was wrong prior to the Revolution was indeed dramatically changed for the betterment of the people. They got good housing, good sanitation, safety, University education and world class Healthcare. Their rate of infant mortality is lower I believe than both Canada and the US. Coming from our "democratic" system, we are lucky if we get a fraction of what politicians promise.
And Polly, you're right about believing propaganda. It's so hard to know the real truth between the US State Dept's "Evil enemy Cuba policy" or Castro's "Socialismo o Muerto". I honestly spend at least 50% of my time delving into this question while there since I too would love to know the truth.
I usually live in Cuban homes and love talking to elders about life before and after "la revolucion". In fact, I never go to the "tropical resorts". Strictly urban/countryside for the very purpose of the Cuban experience.
I have heard, at length, many a Cuban's story of their everyday life experience but would love to hear the other side of the story from fleeing Miami Cubans. Perhaps the truth would lie somewhere in between.
When one sees the state of overall life and safety in the rest of Latin America, Cuba looks pretty darn good. I can walk the streets of Havana or Santiago de Cuba at 2 A.M. without a fly to bother me. Mexico City, Bogota, Carracas, Santo Domingo, not a chance!
Reading Fidel is reading propaganda. Listening to the Cuban partisans in Florida is listening to propaganda. Why not talk to some Cubans in Mexico or Ecuador or similar, who aren't toeing either side's line?
The difference between "free" and "not free" is that while both sides may commit abuses against their people, in the "free" country you're allowed to say so. You're allowed to criticize the government at the top of your lungs. You're allowed to picket at the Federal Building and protest the Cuba policy. And while some over-eager junior G-man may take your picture, or even try to intimidate you, you have recourse. You won't be disappeared. You won't be executed. Your family members won't be punished to make you fall back in line. When, in the U.S., the Bush administration abrogated the freedoms and guarantees that we hold dear and talked themselves into knots trying to justify their illegal acts, they were thoroughly slapped. The wheels of justice turn slowly, and it's doubtful that the ones we'd really like to have held accountable will be, but another aspect of a free society is that when people are displeased with their government, they don't have long to wait before they have the opportunity to throw the bums out. And as recent history has shown, that's exactly what they do. Just the fact that office holders are beholden to voters forces them to keep at least one eye on serving their constituencies.
Polly- You're pretty clever. I did have to keep rubbing my chemical swab for a full minute before it even started to turn Pink. So, I too wondered if it's such a big deal. It's not like I'd be licking spaghetti sauce off the tiles in lieu of a towel:)
Steff- When you said the last photo Yellows look rustic, you mean Pllog's Guadalajara Winter home? With the ultra cool pass through? Now your question about the thickness. The Guads are all new and so the same thickness as the "new and improved" Yellow. I went to the tile setter in March to ask him if he can actually add extra mortar to the back of the old rustic Yellows to be level with the modern Guads.
I know Granite is the desirable thing but I just don't have the heart to do it and I'm now so programmed to this route.
Interesting that both you and Polly vote for the original Yellows in stock.
While looking at the counter today, it just occurred to me that I could make one little section, (the smallest) counter to left of the cooktop, all the new Yellows. Then there is a clear division (Cooktop) to separate the new on the left from the old on the right. Better on the horizontal as opposed to Vertical splash since your eye would focus more on there?
Good point Plllog. But they're hard to find. I've never seen a Cuban in Mexico-yet. There are some in TO.
Yeah, both groups are pretty biased aren't they?
You know what I find amazing? Cubans in Cuba are civil and non violent-law abiding. But come Miami, why is the rate of crime so high within the Cuban community.
Yeah! In a totalitarian state criminals are treated extremely harshly. There was a lot less crime in Soviet Russia, but people didn't like the way of life and lack of freedom even so...
Plllog- He is smooth, like Obama. What amazes me is the Annual Speech that he used to do at PLaza de la Revolucion in Havana. They were never under 3-4 hours! I will say he is certainly scholarly. But then again so is Colin Powell.
See Steff, I don't mind some of the US guys-the good ones. For the record, I wrote an essay in high school "Why Jimmy Won" on my most revered US President ever-Jimmy Carter. A remarkable statesman for America and humanity. Shame the American electorate didn't think so.
Huh? Sol, you need to do some more reading, talk to some more people. I'm not saying the man doesn't have some admirable qualities, but he was a very ineffective president.
Oh got a funny story for you. My last visit there about 4 years ago, I dragged my friend from Europe with me. Again, not a top class Tourist resort but flying solo in small and large cities. We only did what Cubans do.
One night we got hungry and went into a State snack bar on the main street and had Torta de Huevo. When we got it, my buddy said "Is this the lovely gift of Fidel. No sauce, no condiments?" It was a mini White bread burger bun with a fried egg in between. So I looked at my friend and said " What do you want for 10 cents and a restaurant that's open for us for 24 hours?" So, you're not the first that has riled me for my Viva Fidel fan club :)
Actually he should treat me like a God for the good publicity I give him.
But Polly- "If" the Helicopter to rescue from the Embassy in Tehran" hadn't crashed in the Desert, would he have been remembered as a hero and not failure?
Was the Energy Crisis really in his control or OPEC gouging? The 50 MPH speed limit to save fuel was good.
Camp David I believe was a Carter initiative.
The fact that he is still used to this day to mediate any needed US and non US initiatives, with commanding international respect, is astounding don't ya think?
Could you ever imagine any country inviting George Bush to mediate in any event?
The Carter Foundations, Housing projects etc. He really is/was a unique individual. Dare I say-far too good for public office.
Then again, I always opt for the underdog.
Sol, you have a lot to learn.
Actually it has been a long time and the thought of Jimmy has tweaked my curiosity enough to go revisit what academics said of his Presidency and how I would view it today.
So yes, I will go back to learning but luckily this time as easily as the click of my mouse.
First stop? Harper?
Ok Plllog, finished my homework!
And like my first draft, I still think, pretty impressive man. Such a simple, straightforward President, all the way to his grave. I wished Canada had such a political symbol. America is fortunate.
When he first left office, Carter's presidency was viewed by some as a failure In historical rankings of US presidents, the Carter presidency has ranged from #19 to #34. Although Carter's presidency received mixed reviews from some historians, his all-around peace keeping and humanitarian efforts since he left office have led him to be widely renowned as one of the most successful ex-presidents in US history.
Although Carter has also received mixed reviews in both television and film documentaries, such as the Man from Plains (2007), the 2009 Documentary, Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace, credits Carter's efforts at Camp David, which brought peace between Israel and Egypt, with bringing the only meaningful peace to the Middle East. The film opened the 2009 Monte-Carlo Television Festival in an invitation-only royal screening on June 7, 2009 at the Grimaldi Forum in the presence of His Serene Highness Albert II, Prince of Monaco. The film has not yet shown in the United States, an indication of Carter's comparatively high popularity overseas versus at home in the U.S.
The Independent reported, "Carter is widely considered a better man than he was a president. Since leaving office, Carter's reputation has much improved. Carter's presidential approval rating, which sat at 31% just prior to the 1980 election, was polled in early 2009 at 64%. Carter's continued post-Presidency activities have also been favorably received. Carter explains that a great deal of this change was owed to Reagan's successor, George H.W. Bush, who actively sought him out and was far more courteous and interested in his advice than Reagan had been. Carter has maintained working relationships with former Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush, and despite their political differences the three men all have become good friends over the years while working together in a number of humanitarian and other projects.
Nobel Peace Prize
In 2002, President Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work "to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development" through The Carter Center. Three sitting presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Barack Obama, have received the prize; Carter is unique in receiving the award for his actions after leaving the presidency. He is, along with Martin Luther King, Jr., one of only two native Georgians to receive the Nobel.
Criticism of US policy
In 2001, Carter criticized President Bill Clinton's controversial pardon of Marc Rich, calling it "disgraceful" and suggesting that Rich's financial contributions to the Democratic Party were a factor in Clinton's action.
Carter has also criticized the presidency of George W. Bush and the Iraq War. In a 2003 New York Times editorial, Carter warned against the consequences of a war in Iraq and urged restraint in use of military force. In March 2004, Carter condemned George W. Bush and Tony Blair for waging an unnecessary war "based upon lies and misinterpretations" to oust Saddam Hussein. In August 2006, Carter criticized Blair for being "subservient" to the Bush administration and accused Blair of giving unquestioning support to Bush's Iraq policies. In a May 2007 interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, he said, "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history," when it comes to foreign affairs. However, two days after the quote was published, Carter told NBC's Today that the "worst in history" comment was "careless or misinterpreted," and that he "wasn't comparing this administration with other administrations back through history, but just with President Nixon's." The day after the "worst in history" comment was published, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said that Carter had become "increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments."
On May 19, 2007, Mr. Blair made his final visit to Iraq before stepping down as British Prime Minister, and Carter used the occasion to criticize him once again. Carter told the BBC that Blair was "apparently subservient" to Bush and criticized him for his "blind support" for the Iraq war. Carter described Blair's actions as "abominable" and stated that the British Prime Minister's "almost undeviating support for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world." Carter said he believes that had Blair distanced himself from the Bush administration during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it may have made a crucial difference to American political and public opinion, and consequently the invasion might not have gone ahead. Carter states that "one of the defenses of the Bush administration ... has been, okay, we must be more correct in our actions than the world thinks because Great Britain is backing us. So I think the combination of Bush and Blair giving their support to this tragedy in Iraq has strengthened the effort and has made the opposition less effective, and prolonged the war and increased the tragedy that has resulted." Carter expressed his hope that Blair's successor, Gordon Brown, would be "less enthusiastic" about Bush's Iraq policy.
In June 2005, Carter urged the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba, which has been a focal point for recent claims of prisoner abuse.
In September 2006, Carter was interviewed on the BBC's current affairs program Newsnight, voicing his concern at the increasing influence of the Religious Right on US politics.
Due to his status as former President, Carter was a superdelegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Carter announced his endorsement of Senator (now president) Barack Obama. This occurred on June 3, 2008, near the end of the primary season.
Speaking to the English Monthly Forward magazine of Syria, Carter was asked to give one word that came to mind when mentioning President George W. Bush. His answer was: the end of a very disappointing administration. His reaction to mentioning Barack Obama was: Honesty, intelligence, and politically adept.
In 2009 he put weight behind allegations by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, pertaining to United States involvement in the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'at attempt by a civilian-military junta, saying that Washington knew about the coup and may have taken part.
In a 2008 interview with Amnesty International, Carter criticized the alleged use of torture in at Guantanamo Bay, saying that it "contravenes the basic principles on which this nation was founded." He stated that the next President should publicly apologize upon his inauguration, and state that the United States will "never again torture prisoners."
Foreign trips of Jimmy Carter during his presidency.
In 1994, North Korea had expelled investigators from the International Atomic Energy Agency and was threatening to begin processing spent nuclear fuel. In response then-President Clinton pressured for US sanctions and ordered large amounts of troops and vehicles into the area to brace for war.
Bill Clinton secretly recruited Carter to undertake a peace mission to North Korea, under the guise that it was a private mission of Carter's. Clinton saw Carter as a way to let North Korean President Kim Il-sung back down without losing face.
Carter negotiated an understanding with Kim Il-sung, but went further and outlined a treaty, which he announced on CNN without the permission of the Clinton White House as a way to force the US into action. The Clinton Administration signed a later version of the Agreed Framework, under which North Korea agreed to freeze and ultimately dismantle its current nuclear program and comply with its nonproliferation obligations in exchange for oil deliveries, the construction of two light water reactors to replace its graphite reactors, and discussions for eventual diplomatic relations.
The agreement was widely hailed at the time as a significant diplomatic achievement. However, in December 2002, the Agreed Framework collapsed as a result of a dispute between the George W. Bush Administration and the North Korean government of Kim Jong-il. In 2001, President George W. Bush had taken a confrontational position toward North Korea and, in January 2002, named it as part of an "Axis of Evil." Meanwhile, North Korea began developing the capability to enrich uranium. Bush Administration opponents of the Agreed Framework believed that the North Korean government never intended to give up a nuclear weapons program, but supporters believed that the agreement could have been successful and was undermined.
Carter and experts from The Carter Center assisted unofficial Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in designing a model agreement for peaceÂ-called the Geneva AccordÂ-in 2002Â2003.
Carter has also in recent years become a frequent critic of Israel's policies in Lebanon, West Bank, and Gaza.
In April 2008, the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported that Carter met with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on his visit to Syria. The Carter Center initially did not confirm nor deny the story. The US State Department considers Hamas a terrorist organization. Within this Mid-East trip, Carter also laid a wreath on the grave of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah on April 14, 2008. Carter said on April 23 that neither Condoleezza Rice nor anyone else in the State Department had warned him against meeting with Hamas leaders during his trip. Carter spoke to Mashaal on several matters, including "formulas for prisoner exchange to obtain the release of Corporal Shalit."
In May 2007, while arguing that the United States should directly talk to Iran, Carter stated that Israel has 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal.
In December 2008, Carter visited Damascus again, where he met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, and the Hamas leadership. During his visit he gave an exclusive interview to Forward Magazine, the first ever interview for any American president, current or former, with a Syrian media outlet.
Funeral and burial plans
Carter intends to be buried in front of his home in Plains, Georgia. In contrast, most Presidents since Herbert Hoover have been buried at their presidential library or presidential museum, with the exception of John F. Kennedy, who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and Lyndon B. Johnson, who is buried at his own ranch.
"Jimmy Carter was a man of principle. Got him elected in 1976 over Gerald ("what banana peel?") Ford. Ironically, his same principles led him to defeat in 1980.
For instance, he aborted at last second an attempt to fly into Tehran to rescue the hostages in the American embassy, because he felt it would cost too many lives - the resucers as well as the hostages'. An event Reagan used against him in the elections, branded him as a wimp. (Like Reagan had any war record to speak of :P ) "
I didn't realize Carter aborted the mission. Even more respect for him and his desire to save lives-casualties.
That's an overview, not scholarship. Nothing in what you've posted even speaks to his presidency, that is, the actual working of the administration.
But Plllog, it was just a quickie.
I'll do better later!
Carter was a president who was "long on good intentions but short on know-how," a leader who was "smart, caring, honest and informed" but who suffered from "self-righteousness, micromanagement and an inability to influence public opinion. Carter's was a mediocre presidency." It should be added that Carter also suffered from rotten luck and that his successors are making him look a lot better than he did in 1981-which is why there will be a Carter revisionism.
Prof Burton I. Kaufman
The University Press of Kansas
Here is a link that might be useful: Rethinking Carter Revisionism?
A Prophet, Not a Savior
A little more than a year later, Ronald Reagan defeated Carter by offering Americans a vision that was as optimistic as Carter's was pessimistic. Every four years thereafter, the Republicans' traditional refrain equated Democratic leadership with the notion that America was in decline and needed to reign in its famous appetites. The fact that Caddell and Carter may have been right, in some sense, was almost beside the point. "If you are president and you're going to diagnose a problem, you better have a solution to it," Hertzberg notes. "While he turned out to be a true prophet, he turned out not to be a savior."
Here is a link that might be useful: PBS
Solly, I was not offended. In fact I find it interesting that you are so willing to accept the cheap sandwich without condiments.
The reality of life under Jimmy Carter was not good. Unemployment was high. Those who had jobs were under wage controls so they got no raises while their income was eroded by runaway inflation. Double digit interest rates meant it was nearly impossible for many to buy a home.
It wasn't the OPEC oil shortage, but the inept response to it that people were mad about.
If Carter had allowed the rescue plan to go forward as originally presented then there would have been a backup set of helicopters. No way to know now if the long shot plan would have worked, but he made that decision.
Most of what he is lauded for is his humanitarian work after he left office. While those things are good it can't change his record while in office.
Plllog has been hinting around at this so I'll spell it out for you. Try googling "Carter Antisemitism" the next time you feel like doing research.
What I find interesting as a Canadian is that a past President such as Carter, who is long out of office, has more vested interest in Middle East peace than recent Presidents.
His "perceived" foreign policy Presidential shortcomings have long been made up for in his post Presidential accomplishments.
Thanks Steff-I hadn't run into that. I was on Historians and The Carter Presidency.
But Steff, could a devout former Pastor and such a true Humanitarian really be an anti-semitist? Just my immediate reaction.
Haaa! glad you at least respected my take on the cheap sandwich. My buddy always reminds me of it to this day.
Perhaps Jimmy Carter should be credited for the birth of the fuel efficient automobile. He was the first to advocate using less fuel and driving smaller cars.
If one looks at the emergence of the first Honda Civic in America (which was during his Presidency), and how it's and Toyota's sales multiplied exponentially to market leadership today, maybe Carter was actually ahead of his time.
Nevertheless, Honda and Toyota are no doubt are thankful for his Presidency.
Interesting that Carter was snubbed for a domestic energy policy focused on developing Nuclear. Yet decades later, nuclear hydro is a darling of almost all nations, including Canada.
Almost forgot, the tiles I see as rustic are in the photo with the pass through. It could be my monitor or the photo. When doing a Colorful Mexican kitchen rustic is better if you can do it. Will the tiles on either side of the cooktop meet and does your eye see them both at the same time?
Carter is not a pastor, he is a layman in his church. He has many differences with his church. The idea of research is to look at the available info and decide. It may be inconclusive because you can't know what his thoughts and motivations are.
Next installment in Solly's journey. The problem is not that you enjoy the cheap sandwich, but that I prefer the hot Pastrami on Rye with Mustard. Then you decide that I should be happy with your choice because "it's only fair." Which view prevails?
The idea of research is to look at the available info and decide. It may be inconclusive because you can't know what his thoughts and motivations are.
Well said Steff.
Here is a link that might be useful: Carter Homework
Steff- I kind of took a Buddhist approach to the egg sandwich. It's not good and it's not bad. It's just the way it is. Without judgement.
I always try to do so especially while traveling. It's their thing which they do and I took it for what it was worth. In that instance, finding a nutritious bite, so close to home, at a crazy hour, for literally pennies seemed like a Bonanza.
Now during the day, it was a whole different story. Comedors with real menus and choice were everywhere. Hence I was much more picky.
And a dish to die for...
Here is a link that might be useful:
Will the tiles on either side of the cooktop meet and does your eye see them both at the same time?
Good question Steff. I'm not sure how to answer that. The small 24 inch recessed counter is to the left of the cooktop, then perhaps a sliver of Yellow in front of the cooktop, then Blue edge tile. That's the horizontal. On the vertical, the rustic Yellows would stop to the right of the mural and then the new Yellows to the left of the Mural?
My weakness, I am not good at envisioning the finished product :( (especially not with all the homework the Teach has given me)
Your and Polly's call.
Steff- something I've been fearing and putting off is the phone call to Mexico and the progress on the Yellow color match.
So, off I go... fingers crossed.
Seems like a whole counter of 20 tiles of this neon Yellow will looks strange perhaps from the old yellow to the right.
At the back of the countertop, the tile setter will have to put a 2 inch cut tile. We can salvage the Rustic yellows, by using some other tile to cut or maybe a 2x4 inch strip tile.
Those come in designs or solids.
Instead of at the back, it could even be put at the front just after the blue edge tile.
This would eliminate bringing/mixing any new Yellows.
Here is a link that might be useful: Border Tile
I'm not sure I'm following. You mean if you put a 2" border on the countertop you have enough tile? Go for it. Get Cobalt 2" tiles to add in. Done. It's far enough from the v-cap that it doesn't matter if you have an exact match. Should look great with everything else you're doing.
I think he was looking at adding the shell border in front behind the vcap. The blue at the back is good. We had decided not to add any decorative borders, but I do like the one in the picture.
The problem I see with cutting the new yellow and putting it at the back is the new and old yellow are a mismatch rather than coordinated. Different size, texture, but still yellow so it's off.
Did you get any answers on the matching tile? You may not need it now. If they haven't managed it by this point, you have to wonder if it will happen.
I really like Cuban food and that looks so good I might pick up some plantains soon.
The linked article is a good one because it gives a bit of the background and then quotes both sides as well as scholars who make their points clear. Research.
Polly, did you hear Steff? See, I was a good boy and finished all my homework, just for you!
LOL! Steff-you're not supposed to say both! Blue Border and the shell. Yes I'm still confused. OK I made "the call" and no luck. They tried many many times. It just can't be matched.
Putting the 1/2 cut new Yellows at the back row clashes with the rustic Yellows in front. Agreed Steff.
Any cobalt tiles like 2 inch border would be exact match to the V-Cap since the Blue is a modern production Blue, not 10 years old.
Plllog-I didn't quite catch your idea. You mean put the 2 inch Blue at the back and create essentially a Blue box perimeter effect with the Blue V-Caps and 2 inch borders?
My order for Yellows was only about 20, rest were the NEW Yellow quarter rounds for the sink and the 60 Guads.
Take the original order with 20 new Yellows and put all 20 together on the mini countertop to the left of the cooktop and run right up to the left side of the cooktop. Therefore none of them would touch the rustic yellows on the horizontal axis. The rustic yellows would just begin to the right of the cooktop. Only touching of rustic + new would be at at the transition to the backsplash on the mini counter. We're talking only six tiles wide and 3.5 tiles deep on the mini counter. This scenario assumes that no one will ever compare/notice the difference in Yellow between the left of the cooktop and the right of the cooktop. Since all 20 tiles are the new thickness, there is no height difference in tile setting. The photo has a rustic Yellow to the right of the new Yellow and where the cooktop will be. But that is not accurate, since that cooktop touching 1/2 tile would be the same as all the new Yellows on the mini counter.
Ordering a 2 inch border (Cobalt or Shell) to put in front of the Blue V-Cap, eliminating the use and 1/2 tile cutting of the precious Rustic yellows. Those saved Yellows would then become the full Rustic Yellows of the mini counter to the left of the backsplash. (photo below). But...the border tile will likely be thicker than the rustic yellows, so a little problem maybe in setting. The other thing I thought of Steff. I just cropped the photo to show the Shell combo, but their Kitchen does not have a) a big mural and b) a four tile high splash with another design tile. THat was both your's and Plllog's fear from the beginning. And rightly so.
Quarter Round Dilemma.
The quarter rounds will be the new Yellow. But all around the Yellow sink quarter round will be the old rustic Yellow. Do we still stay with Yellow and not worry since they're curved, not so thick, and prominent?
P.S. BTW that's a Blue and White 6x6 Guad on the centre of the cooktop position. Ooooh, isn't it cute too?
Today is a very sad day all around the world.
The Black Star Nation and Africa's last remaining hope has vanished.
And first and foremost, World #1 Brazil has been eliminated and brought all the Samba celebrations to a sad and tearful end :(
The defeat brought a staggering halt to Brazils hopes of lifting the World Cup trophy once again and the devastation was written on the teary-eyed faces of fans in Sao Paulo, who after the final whistle blew, quietly poured out of packed bars and restaurants mostly refusing to comment on their despair.
"I really thought they were going to win," said Anderson Gunhu, a 30-year old resident of Sao Paulo, barely raising his eyes from the ground. "Its inexplicable. I feel like the Cup was in our hands, and we lost it."
Nearly all of Brazils 195 million people had been transfixed as the drama unfolded on televisions and radios across the country. Shops were empty and bars were crowded. Even schools were closed so that kids could watch with their families.
Firecrackers exploded and cars blared their horns as Brazils ace forward Robinho scored a goal early in the first half. But for the rest of the game, the Brazilian team failed to convert opportunities into goals and was eventually sent home.
When the Dutch goalkeeper dove, barely blocking an on-target shot with his fingertips, 30-year-old Luiz Guilherme Santos, sitting in his apartment thousands of miles away, turned away in disgust.
"They are winning now, but you can never be sure against Holland," he said nervously, wincing after each missed opportunity. "In 1994 we were beating them 2 - 0, and they scored two goals in the second half. This could be very bad."
Brazil ended up winning that match, but it was not to be this time around.
With each fumble, the streets and bars of Sao Paulo would erupt again and again in disdain. Disappointed Brazilians cursed out of apartment windows and shouted inside crowded restaurants.
Brazils fate was sealed when Felipe Melo was sent off with a red card for violently stomping on Dutch ace Arjen Robben in a display of poor sportsmanship.
His bad judgment triggered an outcry of expletives and threats from many of the almost 100 Brazilians packed into one small restaurant. Others just shook their heads, finished their beers and stared at their empty bottles, unable to regain their composure as their hopes of lifting another World Cup trophy faded into the Sao Paulo smog.
"I think Brazils defense was really good this year, but the second half was terrible. They played so badly," said Aparecida Ribeiro, 50, masking her disappointment with a smile as she walked home after watching her team collapse. "After Holland scored its first goal, our players level of play dropped off really quickly and they went to sleep."
With the game over, Santos said he felt too sick to comment any further. Outside his window, mechanics sat on the ground of their garage with their tools scattered around them, listening to the radio as the announcer eulogized the teams deceased aspirations.
The defeat will surely bring up unpleasant memories of their teams quarter-final exit from the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when the Brazilians were beaten 1-0.
But Ribeiro found reason to hope as she headed home after this years disappointing elimination.
"It's okay that Brazil didn't win the Cup this year because I think they are going to win the next one in 2014 here in Brazil," she said, still looking shaken. "It would be a lot to ask for them to win two in a row. But if we lose in our own country, that would be a tragedy."
People who think it's their right to win, like the Yankees and Brazil, deserve to lose. Go Uruguay!!
They're doing a scientific study of Ozzy's body to figure out why he isn't 10 past dead.
I like the shell too, but it's too much for your kitchen. Your example is big, open, very little backsplash, and no guads. It also has superwide, white grout.
Yes, I meant the box thing. Your example sort of has that look on the open side. Get cobalt quarter round too. It'll look nice and rustic, but simple and nice.
I don't see any way of incorporating the new yellows like that and making it work nicely. What you've suggested would look very authentically campesino, but you wanted an upscale colorful Mexican kitchen, not a peasant kitchen. The tiles just aren't expensive enough to cheap out on like that. If it were a matter of making it work with what you've got, it would be a different story, but it's not. If you're on the hook for the 20 yellow tiles, you can make a nice tray, or an end table for your garden, out of them and the extra yellow quarter round.
So today we had a good agua fresca: Orange and basil and NO LUMPS. Very refreshing and tasty, but it was WATER, not sugar and pulp. Yummy!
Awww Polly, you're such a meanie! I've gone through 2 boxes of tissues I'll have you know. It was our's to win! Just like 2006.
Oh you made the agua? How? I like Agua de Sandia!
So, you like the Blue box effect huh? Does that mean those V-Caps along the window, behind the sink should be Blue instead of Yellow to continue the Blue all along the window elevation?
Steff-Do you like this Blue box look?
Yes, the blue box is definitely the best idea for your kitchen.
I think your window sill is counter height so the blue should continue the line across there.
Any grown-up who cries over losing a game s/he wasn't actually playing in needs to find something to be passionate about first hand, rather than experiencing life at a distance through false group activities like sports fandom. Your crocodile tears don't move me.
And I agree with Steff, above, entirely. Actually, I think the sill is below counter height, but agree that the blue should continue.
But Sol, if you don't like the box, we'll think of something else! For that matter, you could do the scallops if you really love the look. It is your kitchen and you have to be happy. The only "wrong" one we've talked about is combining the new yellows and old yellows in the same plane. That one just looks exactly like what it is--that you ran out of tiles and threw in something else.
Unless? Did you decide you're okay with the lead? The old ones are more charming, but it would be understandable if you changed to all new.
Polly, what's the ratio for your agua frescas?
How do you know that I'm 50-50 on the Blue Box idea? Yeah I'm cold to the Seashell idea.
Steff- When I talked to Lupi, she also came up with a box idea, But it was Blue V Cap then rustic Yellows for the box border and White tiles for inside the box. But that's yet another color and that means a lot of Whites to buy and in turn Rustic Yellows to waste. Hence I nixed that suggestion. It was sweet, even she coyly admitted that the old rustic Yellows are nicer. See, progress is not always good:) BTW If you make the Cuban Congris, the diced pork is really key to bringing out the flavor. I will say this much, Cuba has mastered pork.Which also means I won't be taking Polly there anytime soon. Of course she can do eggs, at the 10 cent egg place :) They don't do beef and very little Chicken.
Oh forgot to tell you something neat about the same Cuban town. One day my friend I were wandering around the downtown and curiously walked into what looked like a 1950's Woolworth's store. But inside there were literally 50 old fashioned Barber's chairs in front of a continuous mirror on all the walls. And every one had a girl sitting in it with another girl and mini table placed in front of the chair. They were ALL doing nails! So, one Nailgirl and ALL the other girls looked at us in sheer amusement and hysteric giggles and asked if we'd like our naills done. So I asked "how much?" and her reply 12 pesos Cubanos. The conversion was 30 US cents! Immediately my mind began working and I thought I could take a Cubana on a dinner date, do her nails, and her hair, for under a dollar! And that gave new meaning to the concept of cheap date :)
Polly- I'm thinking there's probably more lead in the air when I walk outside my house than I will ever get from these tiles.
Hey, speaking of Lead. Remember the lovely Guadalajara public buses BLACK fumes that came out their exhausts. I will never forget it. One day I woke up, showered and groomed immaculately, walked out of my Hotel to the Bus Stop, and suddenly the stopped bus roared away in a massive nuclear like Black cloud, and I stood there covered in filth head to toe only to go right back into the Hotel for a complete re-do.
Hence I'm VERY alert now and never go near a Mexican bus stop unless it is my bus number.
We won't get into the fact that when the bus actually takes off, all windows open, you again take the eventual Lead bath once again.
So, if they did the Ozzy experiments on me, I think I would test Positive for Lead.
Polly- that wasn't a metaphor for me I hope! As in now you think I'm some kind of thick skinned Crocodile.
Speaking of Crocodiles, I'm not so sure about taking you to Rio again. After your comments there'll be A LOT of Crocodiles that will be dying to get a piece of you-alive!
Hey Steff- Just wanted to let you know, Pineapples here are presently $2.50 cored!
Crocodile tears -- crying for show, without real tear formation. As in, your two box of tissues jag was an expression, not real, heartbroken, wet, snotty tears. Not calling you a crocodile.
Don't worry about the Cuba trip. Though I'd love to go, it's not worth violating the silly strictures.
I didn't make the agua fresca. There were large sprigs of basil in the pitcher, and some heavy orange pulp in the botom, but I don't know the method.
Not a cheap date, Sol! When comparing these things it's important to do so within the context of the local economy, not compare what your freedom dollars could buy. Money is just a representation of what different goods trade for. A manicure costs about the same as a sandwich. But when different economies trade with each other, some currencies are more valued than others, and the manicure in a more desirable location is more valued than the manicure in a less desirable location, so there's a disconnect. When the manicurist from the more desirable location brings her money to the less desirable location it's still worth the sandwich she could buy at home, if she were at home, but in the new place it's worth a sandwich, a manicure, a movie, and a hotel room, with taxis and tips thrown in. But if she spends her money and has to ply her trade in the new location, she can only earn one sandwich per manicure (minus costs).
This is why you find so many expats in Mexico, central America, and even the Carribean. They make their money in the more desirable location (either as telecommuters or investors), and spend it in the less desirable location in order to have a higher lifestyle. Even with some flying back and forth, they can save more and live higher this way. But they can usually never go back.
Even within the U.S., one used to hear about people cashing out their L.A. houses and moving North. The problem is, after awhile they want to come home, and they haven't used the equity they cashed out to make money investing. They've sunk it into fine living in Oregon, where it hasn't kept up with prices here, and neither have their wages.
That's the myth about "low cost of living". It only works if the wages are the same, and even then it doesn't account for things like the lack of appreciation in real estate. You might get a bigger house for your aerospace buck in Texas, but you'll get more money when you sell your hovel here.
But Plllog, I thought only girls do Crocodile tears-very well :)
So, you're a clever one huh. And you do computers!
You were saying that these people that go to the cheap countries can't come back. Well funny thing, my friend has had enough of Bangkok (wonder why :) ) and now wants to come back. But he's having anxieties about finding a job, where will he live etc. Houses in TO are $300,000 more than when he left 12 years ago. He has a $20-30,000 Condo which won't go very far for even a deposit here.
Myself, I moved out of the big TO, for the "low cost of living" and now to go back there would cost me maybe triple the price of my house here. Now since I left the city, the average home has gone up by say $300,000. Mine maybe $80,000. At the time the idea seemed brilliant but I sort of wished I had bought and stayed there. That's why I want your Kitchen!
Mind you, I quite like the smaller town living, even with the boredom, and other than a shopping/restaurant/business run, I find the congestion and mayhem in TO actually disturbing now. Therefore, my decision doesn't feel as bad.
I also spend zero time in traffic. Five minutes to a bank, 5 minutes to a Mall, etc. That peace of mind has a non monetary value.
But you're right, moving to Vancouver with the $1,000,000 median price is ... pricey.
Silly GW!! It didn't post all day then posted twice?
So, here's the trick. When you get enough money together to buy a small place in a good neighborhood in TO, do it. Make sure it's fixed up well, and find a good plumber, electrician, etc., in TO, and then rent your place out to cover the mortgage. In the end, you'll have a nice pied-a-terre in the big city, you're not too far away to keep an eye on it in the meantime, and you'll get the appreciation.
Should that be a Condo in a high rise or an actually hunk of brick and mortar and front lawn.
Where's Steff? I'm getting worried. She isn't back yet. I think she was out scouring the 4th of July Sales at the Sonoma Outlet or maybe seeing popping in on Christophe.
Oh Oh Plllog, that was Steff on the phone!
Quick zip your bags up and throw them into the Cab, we've gotta make our LAX flight. I promised Steff that this time we won't let her down and be late for the special breakfast tomorrow morning.
Whew, checked in just in time. Breakfast, yum.
W-S is discontinuing a lot of Le Creuset and other cookware. This was the mall store and not the outlet. Lots of people in line at the Apple store and they seemed to have shopping bags with returns. Is the new iPhone that bad?
A Condo is easier because you have maintenance in your fees, but the fees can be high and cut into the rent income. There's a lot more worries when it's a house with a lawn because the maintenance staff is not in residence.
There's an HGTV show filmed in TO called "Income Property." The host helps people fix up their basement or other level of their row house to rent out. Some people turn them into two or three units and then plan to take back one eventually to expand their living space. These houses run around 500K and need a lot of work, but the rental income really cuts the mortgage costs down.
Generally you'll find lower incomes in the lower cost of living areas. Most services cost the same here as in the larger city we lived in last so the biggest difference is the price of homes.
I've been busy choosing your Kitchen counter!
From this month's Consumer Reports:
"You can't get a more classic look than natural stone. But only granite aced most of our tests. Marble was at the bottom of our Ratings (available to subscribers) and limestone didn't do much better. Quartza man-made combination of stone, color, and resinedged out granite because of slightly better overall performance. And you don't need to reseal it."
There's an app for that!
Download DuPont's free mySurface app to an iPhone or iPod Touch to view screen-sized swatches of their solid surfacing and quartz products and to order samples. DuPont also has an online design guide. Match quartz countertops to paints at Cambriausa.com; mix surfaces and cabinets at Formica.com.
This Quartz sounds great, especially the ability to control color to your desire.
Well, it is the weekend! Steff probably has better things to do, especailly since most of GW is on strike.
Re property, it depends on your budget, desires, etc. Condos don't hold value well in general, so to use it as an investment you'd need to find one that super highly desirable, that also allows you to have renters. An actual house in a good location with good schools, etc., should hold its value and appreciate well. There will always be demand for that.
Whatever you do, don't buy quirky as an investment. The kinds of flaws that people accept in order to get into a place in a good location are magnified in an investment property. No loud, busy, dirty, dangerous streets. No funky, minuscule back yards. No strange layouts. OTOH, you can do a cheap fix-up on a rental, so ugly walls and floors are fine, and dead gardens, nasty kitchens, as long as they are, or can be, well laid out, are fine. Get a good professional inspector to avoid structural problems. What you want is the most conventional size, shape, etc., good quality structure, in the best neighborhood you can find. Not a tiny house in a field of mansions, and definitely not the biggest and best in Lilliput. Average for the neighborhood is best. Not in the bottom quarter, not in the top quarter.
Polly, can we talk about this on the plane. We need to get there- fast!
Cross posted with Steff. She's right in what she said about condos, they're just not good long term investments because you have no control over the building and the association and what they do or don't do for maintenance unless you live there and are active. And if they let you rent, they're more likely to let others rent, and if there are too many renters you won't be able to sell the condo. It's really much easier to find a house that you can count on enduring well. And if you can get one without an association, so much the better.
If you have a plumber and an electrician, and, if you're lucky, a good handyman or carpenter, whom you can call in for emergency repairs without having to make the drive, you can do it. Write your lease with a "$200 discount" for outside maintenance, and explain in detail what that means: Mowing lawn, trimming edges and hedges, watering when necessary, keeping the plants alive, keeping the property clean and tidy, cleaning the rain gutters (or whatever they're called there), and whatever else you can think of. Minor problems with the upkeep will get a warning. Major problems or several minor problems within 6 months will automatically cancel the discount and you will send a gardening crew to do the work. Have them initial that part independently. Most people would rather do the work than spend the money. Every now and then give them a call and say you'd like to bring over some plant food or fertilizer or whatever, if they'll use it.
I didn't say it wouldn't take some minding. Just that real estate is a good investment, even if you have to start small.
Though Steff makes a good point. If you can find one of these multi-unit places, maybe a nice house with a mother-in-law apartment, you can rent out the house, and use the apartment as a pied-a-terre right away.
Pollly, looks like you got a lot of experience while working in the Commercial Real Estate. I like your clauses!
Just before I left the city, I was about to buy my first piece of Real Estate with a partner. The offer was accepted but when our Lawyer was doing the legals, he discovered that the house was misrepresented. It was sold to us as a legal triplex, but only had approval for a duplex. My friend and I were going to take the top 2 units, while the tenant would get the basement. The numbers worked really well.
Now how do you guys view a townhouse? As good as a house for the investment?
Thanks Steff, what a Breakfast! Great seats.
Can I get you and Polly some more Strawberries and Cream?
Never, ever, go into business with a partner who isn't a (legally married) spouse or a sibling, and consider very, very carefully before you partner with a sibling. To succeed in a partnership between two people, each has to feel like he's doing 75% of the work, not resent it, understand that the other feels the same way, and trust that person. Otherwise, you have disaster, and if not disaster you have both people feeling like they're doing 50% of the work, but, in actuality, both doing 40% of the work, with 20% sliding. Disaster postponed but coming.
You had a lucky escape!
Townhouse as in vertical condo? Or as in rowhouse with common walls but freehold ownership and no association fees? Condos are condos. A rowhouse in a good, or rising neighborhood could be good if they're common. I don't know Toronto at all. I believe Boston and Philly have a lot of rowhouses in very desirable neighborhoods. Around here, they're all condos. Again, fine to live in (nicer than flats, actually), but not the best investment properties. If it's a small complex, like we have, with half a dozen units, tops, and in a very desirable neighborhood, it should be easy enough to sell, but the neighbors won't like you renting it out, and might not allow it altogether. And it's still not going to appreciate like a good house in a good neighborhood.
I'll say. Actually the friend wasn't really that friendly. We were from the Tennis Club and eventual next door neighbor. He had a mysterious side all right, kind of guy that was always evasive about the simplest questions as in:
Q. So where were you last night, I knocked your door?
Oh, could you be a little more vague.
And yes, he was a Lawyer! Not to stereotype that they are never to be trusted, but...
OK, so if we embark on Operation Investment TO, do we buy:
a) right in the heart of the city-financial district etc.
b) In a prominent suburb
c) Newly built home or 10-15 year old home . I've noticed most Asian immigrants Chinese or Indian worship the new(er) home. Although they are made of cardboard, they think they're better.
The suburb is where I grew up and is 1/2 hour closer to me now and I know the area very well but I'm also no stranger to the heart of the city.
Hey they have some really hip Lofts in the heart of TO. Ex warehouses converted into residential. Any good?
Today was a big election day in all of Mexico- for Governors. And yes PRI took 19 of 21 states.
So my friend was right. Salinas is back and working very hard behind the curtains. PRI will win the Presidential Election next and then be in full control :(
At least the PRI won't be foolish enough to take on the Drug Cartels which has "only" killed 26,000 Mexicans to date.
Here is a link that might be useful: The PRI and Salinas Are Back!
About specific areas you should talk to several local agents, and also consult you own desires. With any investment cynical is a lot harder to guess right on. Choose something you really like and would want to live in (location, structure, etc.--surface finishes don't matter since they change over time). Lofts have all the problems of other kinds of condos. Additionally, most loft apartments nowadays are cheap rather than spacious. That is, they have exposed ductwork, acid washed concrete floors and no more space than a similar apartment. Just fewer walls. That's a far cry from the barely reclaimed industrial spaces that artists moved into in the city centers because they were spacious and cheap, and had lots of windows.
OTOH, if you want to be in a happening or up and coming downtown area, and that's a place where everyone lives in flats, a la Manhattan, then it's okay, as long as you're allowed to rent out units in that building, and that they have a cap on the number of units that can be rented. (I.e., you can rent your unit out, but the Johnny Come Lately's after you can't if the building is a third rental units.) Again, the problem, even so, is that you're at the mercy of the freeholder, or the association, or whoever is in charge of upkeep. With a single family home you have a lot more control over your own destiny, though you also have to put more work into it. Also remember in your search to take into consideration taxes, services, insurance, etc., and get a true picture of relative costs.
Plllog's advice is spot on. The newer "lofts" are really just average apartments with an open floor plan. In the Eastern US a townhome has a strict homeowners association, you own your property and are responsible for exterior maintenance but you must receive approval from the board for changes to the exterior. You do not have to get approval to rent it out as with a condo. A rowhouse is more like a single family home with shared walls. There is a civic association that reports violations to the city and follows up, but cannot legally require any more of you than the city ordinance allows.
We have owned several rental properties over the years and it is a lot of work. Even when the tenants are good, they do not care as much as they would if they owned the property. We had several tenants who "forgot" they did not own the house. One guy was planning to cut an exterior door in the master bedroom wall. He had already drawn the outline on the side of the house when discovered. One family said they wanted to buy the house several times but never made an offer and then were upset to learn they were not homeowners because they paid rent.
As plllog suggests, a minimum maintenance clause is a good idea. We started doing that after getting a $250 plumbing bill for a simple, tenant caused problem.
There is a lot of research involved in such a venture. Best to proceed slowly and figure that everything will cost more and take longer than planned.
Thanks Steff. Phew, sounds like this is going to be a bit of a pain. But all money making always is.
LOL!!! on the the tenants thinking they own it.
Reminds me of my cardinal of lending money:
After you lend someone money, the minute it reaches their hands, they truly believe it is their money and therefore treat it as such. Meaning you have no hope of retrieval.
BTW. I hope everybody had fun in London yesterday for our:
Breakfast at Wimbledon!
I noticed Plllog gorged on the Fish and Chips. Poor girl, I had the de-grease her with Pur-Eh.
It's 40 degrees!
But...Sol, you told me it was CHICKEN!! No wonder I needed to be shot full of epinephrine/adrenaline. STOP TRYING TO POISON ME!!!
It's cold, damp, overcast and dreary, and my head hurts.
How in the world did you get 40 degrees? You said it wouldn't actually happen. I heard you!
You poor thing Polly.
I guess this isn't fair is it? It blazing SUN, Thailand HOT, and just amazing!
"I'm Lovin It"
Here is a link that might be useful: To Cheer You Up!
Poor pitiful me. :(
But wait there's more!
Entrepreneurs see opportunity and fill it right?
Well how about my Sunshine Distribution Machine!
It works by harnessing sunshine from areas that have excess to areas that have not. And it makes the whole world a happy sunny place! Migraine free.
Just trying to come up with more ways of paying off the Chateau :)
OK just hold that thought, I'm off to Wegman's in the USA to pick up some cheer up goodies for you and Steff.
That is hotter than it is here today. It's cooler than usual because we just went through four days of rain from Hurricane Alex and now they tell us we have tar balls from Deep Water Horizon on our beach.
Not just any beach either, but Crystal Beach where my family had a house when I was a kid. They sold the house about ten years ago and then I think it was lost to Hurricane Ike two years ago.
Definitely need cheering up and Wegman's will help of course.
The family that was upset about not buying the house had tried to wait us out and hope we got into financial problems so we would give the house away to them. This is the house we live in now and we had to ask them to move out so we could return. We gave them three months notice, but it was still a shock after more than five years of renting the house. They are educated professionals so there should have been no confusion. Had they made a market based offer when they said they would and before we decided to move back, they would be living here now. That was the part they had difficulty with and kept claiming we had had an agreement to sell them the house. Finally our realtor came over and explained the contract to them. Real estate is not fun.
Yeah, and then there's the motorcycle in the living room. But real estate, even with the ups and downs, is a great investment, and one for which you can really feel like you get out of it what you put into it. (Including having a hard head about who you rent to--you want tenants who want to pay you and appreciate living there, not tenants who need a break, and then you still get loopy people like Steff described).
I don't know if it's the same in Canada, but in the U.S. there is no such thing as an oral real estate agreement. Every little thing must be on paper or it's not a contract. Which is why Steff's story is so weird! Like, um, if the contract says "rent to own" you have a sale in progress. If it doesn't, you don't. There's no halfway, and no other agreement. But the one about the guy who was going to cut a door takes the cake!!
First up we have the poor California soul that's no stranger to grey, rain and cloud. Oh did I miss one? COLD.
For her this lovely, SUMMERY, Sandia!
For our Princess of SA we have:
Here is a link that might be useful: Steff's Treat!
Oh my Steff, that is oh so close to me! Shame on you for never dropping by for a SOL or dinner.
It was literally just in the Saturday TO Star as Getaways within 2 hrs of TO.
I made watermelon salsa yesterday. Mild style, since I fed it to my mother. It was even better today.
More of the same crud tomorrow... Including "rain".
Finally some high pressure at the end of the week, but might get muggy. Monsoon a month ahead of time.
Rain in Southern California in the Summertime? The song will definitely need to be rewritten.
News for Solly, a lakefront is not a beach. That is funny that there's a Crystal Beach in TO.
I've got more stories. One couple moved in to rent until closing after we had a signed contract. They decided not to buy the house and tried to use their earnest money as the final rent payment! We sold the house a few months later for thousands more.
We have done well in real estate, but the sale of the house in Houston is probably the last for us.
Oh don't worry Steff you don't have to convince this guy. I'm the ultimate beach snob. I never put my toes into the polluted mystery of Great Lakes water.
But to most people it's sand and it's water so the word beach emerges.
OK I've got one for you. Although it can't touch your story of the lines drawn for the exterior door, this one is a little too close to home. As in my immediate next door neighbor! They park their extra car right on the grass of their front or side lawn. Several when they have guests. Really.
And unlike Polly's suggestion, yes I'm the top house in a very average neighborhood. Will be interesting to see the faces of the neighbors of the asking house price when I decide to sell. Problem was I did not look at the perspective of the street to the town. I looked at it relative to TO. This house was like a mini mansion in TO, so the price was a steal. And since I was not from this City, I'm not in tune with the neighborhoods/reputations. We just loved the house/lot.
Yes there are 3 rentals around me. Get this. The literal day that we moved in, all that night guys were having a party on their driveway. And yes, the guy had a drum kit there. Absolutely in shock the morning after, I immediately pondered selling the house. Very depressed.
Then I took matters into hand. I walked out the front door, with my cordless phone, stood beside him and his drum kit on the driveway, and said:
"You have the choice right now. Put your drumsticks down or we dial the Police right now. Which do you prefer?" They never played the drums ever again.
The house was eventually raided by Police as a Marijuana grow house and sold. It remains a rental.
If the house is especially unique then it can be attractive to a buyer even if the neighborhood isn't the best. The price need to be right to attract buyers.
LOL at the parking in the yard. That is such a common practice in Texas that cities have recently enacted ordinances against parking on non-paved surfaces. So the homeowners just pave over the whole yard--problem solved!
It's kick off time Holland-Uruguay
Good luck, if there was ever an underdog you certainly picked it. The last remaining South American hope!
South American teams have only ever lost twice in a World Cup semi final!
Polly's cards may not be looking so bad.
Unfortunately, the World Cup will remain on the European Continent :(
Yup! Need more parking space? Pave the front yard, with a pretty brick border, and turn it into one big driveway. That's done here too. It probably isn't in O. because they have enough rain, etc., that the lawn doesn't mind so much if you park on it. :)
Traditional L.A. includes downright poor areas with a lot of pride of ownership. There are roaming bands of neighbors, usually older people, who go to the ones with the inoperable cars in the driveway, the way too many people for the size of house, etc., and tell them, "You can't do that here. You have to cut your lawn. This is a respectable neighborhood. You don't want us to call code enforcement on you." Most are renters, some are just slobs, most clean up their acts when just a bit of peer pressure is applied. Doesn't matter if it's the 'hood, the barrio, or a slum, you gotta keep your house looking nice.
BTW, Steff, it's "rain", not rain. That is, the overcast is just so low and heavy it sort of rains itself down. It has occasionally rained in July before though. It did in 1989. And I think it even did last year or the year before. It only happens when Monsoon comes this far North. Usually, it cuts across Mexico to Arizona and doesn't really hit us. I slept through the morning (read during the night) but right now it looks more like muggy July overcast than the November style cold and damp it was the last couple of days. You know like how Eskimos have dozens of ways of describing snow? I'm a connoisseur of overcast.
Steff brings up a good point about tenants as well--never buy a property with tenants in place unless you have an existing lease (the terms of which you like), have signed a new lease with the same tenants going forward, they're paying their rent into escrow both before and after the sale, so that escrow can apportion it correctly to the landload in possession on a particular day, and so that the tenant isn't still sending payment to the old landlord after you take over, and the old landlord turns over all deposits and other monies held on behalf of the tenants to you, also through the escrow.
In other words, it's just easier starting without a tenant. Though, if it's a long term, good tenant, there might be good reason to keep them. Other than that whole they think they own the place thing Steff mentioned.
Also, never, ever, take possession of a house while the old owners aren't 100% out, confirmed by a walk-through inspection that you do yourself before signing over the money, during which you also confirm that any property they were supposed to leave is still there and in good condition (including the half tank of heating oil, window a/c unit, or washing machine--turn them on! And make sure the descriptions, model numbers, serial numbers match what's in your contract). Take pictures, make notes, and close within the hour. The same afternoon you sign and receive the keys, meet the locksmith at the property and change every single lock. Make sure that there aren't any sneak in points that the previous owners or neighborhood kids know, for getting into the garage, the upstairs, or even the backyard. Have a handyman on the spot to take care of them, if any are found.
Delay closing if you have to, to get the old owners and all their stuff out. The agents won't like it. They'd rather drop the troubles on your head. Don't be bullied. Say you'll give them however much time they need to pack up and move before closing, but absolutely no rent backs. They can put their stuff in storage and themselves in a hotel if they're not closed on their new place yet. If they don't have the money for that, or for a bridge loan so they can close on the new first, before their own sale is funded, they can't afford to pay you rent either. Never, ever, do it. Offer them $1000 cash, to be paid after they're clear and you're closed, to get out of your house, which they can use for their in between expenses. It's worth it to you! A lot less money to get them out than suing for specific performance and/or eviction. Plus, we've just learned from Steff not to let them rent first, close later, either, because that means you have renters, not a sale. Steff was able to avoid a lot of grief by reselling for more, but it doesn't always work out that way, and you don't want to be stuck in litigation with people who are in your house.
"You know like how Eskimos have dozens of ways of describing snow? I'm a connoisseur of overcast."
Polly-You're like a Rentals Cop. No slipping a quick one by you. Can't you just come here and make the purchase? I'll sign the cheque.
You and Steff can be like the Bouncer(esses) at the front door.
Guess what I was fondling last night?
Not the Bunny....
And oh boy it just felt sooooo good!
Actually the trip was for an appointment to the Genius Bar for my poor, sick, Macbook :( For the last 2 days I was going ape over no cursor, pointer that always stuck to every window, and deleting letters while I was typing.
So, the Apple Genius found the problem in 30 seconds. Swollen aged battery. The swelling pushed onto the trackpad which meant the trackpad could not activate so the cursor just stayed stuck. Damage $100 for a new battery.
Sad thing is I have this thing up for sale on the Internet for my move up to the 27 inch iMac. But like a car, it cannot be sold unless the bad brakes are replaced etc. etc.
Now the gem. While he fondled my goods, I went over to Mr. Facetime and introduced myself with open hands. The minute I touched it, it was love at first bite, I mean sight. Perfect proportions, and inexplicably not as squarish as it looks. Man beside me, with 3GS in hand agreed the new felt much better. The 3mm less width seems much slimmer. His partner pulled out a new Samsung Omnia and he said if you get a phone get the iphone 4 and don't buy these %###* me too's.
Then came the Apple worker. How do you like this new phone? He told me he's had every version since 07 and by far this is the gem. I quote "Of all the things we sell in the Apple Store, this iphone 4 is my favorite Apple product".
When the guy beside me pulled his 3GS out and we compared, the iPhone 4 Display had a stunning glow like a Plasma Television. It was sooo amazing.
I did Face Time! And "if" girls do computers, they can do it too!
Polly, you know how you're a connoisseur of overcast? Well I'm a connoisseur of ergonomics. And have ditched many an electronic item for not satisfying the touch.
And Polly, am I ever glad I didn't dive into the iPad pool and get soaked because the iPhone4 is really the perfect swimsuit.
July 23, go ahead Apple, make my day.
I'm so glad you're happy! And see! Even when I argue with you, it's for your own good!
A bunny would have been cuddlier though...
About today's Semi Final.
Here is a link that might be useful: Paul The Psychic Octopus!
Hate to say it but I'm 0 for 2 in the Pace "Hand Pick & Win".
What about you guys?
I hope it's not rigged :)
Here is a link that might be useful: Not So Pace
Haven't tried that yet because you have to sign up. I'm tired of signing up for websites. Grumpy day I guess.
It's amazing the what you need to know before you rent out or sell property. We learned a lot the hard way, but never really lost much so it was a good experience overall.
I love that observation about the neighborhoods. We have that same thing here. Even though the houses are small for the number of people who live there they are neat and well kept with lots of flowers out front.
Today's news brings the story of a car theft ring leader arrested in my neighborhood. His gang was stealing SUV's to ship to drug cartels in Mexico. This was an organized crime ring with a set up that included recruiting. He was pulled over for no license plates and he did not have a driver's license on him. This guy was driving around just blocks from my house looking for cars to steal. Fortunately he has been sent to Brownsville to stand trial on other charges because I do not want to think about what could happen if he were jailed here.
Solly, do you really believe that everything will be fine once these guys are able to operate freely with the approval of their government?
I'm with Steff on the Pace. It's a come on for you to give them data. A free jar? For all your private details? I think not!
Scary news, Steff! I know a lot of stolen cars here get shipped out of the country, but super frightening that it's the drug cartels doing it there.
Talk about close to home Steff!
Wow the Drug Cartels even affect quiet little SA.
Now after this incident in your own backyard I can see why you're questioning my reasoning. But. Since Calderon tried to play hero and take on the Cartels, he essentially let tens of thousands of Mexicans die unnecessarily. The Cartels have been in business for god knows how long. It has always been a part of the Mexican society whether right or wrong. As is corruption, political assassinations, human rights abuses, etc. In fact that is the reality of Latin America-except CUBA :)
The Calderon model proved that you cannot, and will not, defeat the Cartels. They are a serious force to be reckoned with. Calderon has sent 25,000 troops to fight them and failed. This is like an American Afghanistan or Vietnam. No number of troops will defeat this well mobilized, highly motivated group.
So, with the Salinas PRI delegation now ready to take full control of Mexico, it means Plan B. Which means, like always, you keep the Gov't happy, and we let you do your business. The Cartels in turn make sure that nobody gets hurt unless absolutely necessary. Is it good for the moral fabric of the country? No. Is it good for the safety of the general public? Yes. And the moral issue cannot be judged from the Canadian or American viewpoint since all this is part of Mexican culture for many generations past. In fact it is a part of every country in Latin America.
Gotta love it!
Here is a link that might be useful: Amazing!
Right. Let's let the mafia, and the Russian and other ones who are taking the place of the Italians in the same biz, keep on doing what they do because they've been around for 6 generations in this country alone. Never mind that buildings in NY collapse because of substandard materials, never mind that innocent people get caught in the crossfire. Let's let the motorcycle gangs keep on cooking and distributing meth because, after all, when we enforce the law they move into suburban houses and it's okay if they poison the children so long as they don't disturb the neighbors. Let's let the kids with no hope join gangs and create violence, lust for revenge, and destroy rather than build up, because they always have, they're part of society, there are songs about them, and there are always hopeless kids coming up and it's so much easier to let them join gangs than to try to get through to them and show them how to dream and work and achieve. Right. Let's just give up. For that matter, why give to the needy? There have always been needy people. There always will be. So why try to make them a little more comfortable when they're going to need something else tomorrow?
Oh, right. There is no corruption in CUBA because the state has a monopoly on it.
This is the reality of Latin America.
Even as powerful as America is, they have not been able to change Latin America.
So, do we really expect these much less powerful Latin countries to suddenly become morally cleansed?
As long as there is poverty, of which there is no shortage of in Latin America, they will always be in the same predicament. If Drug Cartels can buy judges in Miami (you may recall about 10 years ago), imagine what they can do in their own countries.
Sorry but perhaps I value innocent human lives too much. And I care more about a birthday party of slain teenagers in Ciudad Juarez because the Cartel wanted to prove a point to the Federales. And the parents of all those teenagers will not just point to the Cartels, they'll point to the Americans and Canadians who buy the drugs and create the market for these guys to Supply. Without demand, there is no need for supply.
Yes there can be corruption in the Cuban system and in 2003, the Castro Gov't publicly apprehended Gov't officials involved in drugs and sentenced them to death and or life imprisonment.
On the needy. There are differing philosophies on this. In India, yes mainstream locals often discourage giving to the needy and prescribe to:
If you give a man a fish, he can eat for a day.
But if you teach a man to fish he can eat for a lifetime.
Amnesty Int'l has figured well over one million people were killed during this Iraq "invasion/forced regime change". Was it worth it? Probably not, if you ask the families of those in Iraqi graves.
With a growing North American demand for Mexican drugs, and a strengthening group of Cartels, where do you draw the line?
The poorest poor folk in the U.S. have real wealth compared to the poor folk in India, but I wasn't talking about giving handouts to the poor. Allow a poor man to fish instead of making a law against it. But to leave someone with a degenerative disease who can barely move or speak to beg or starve is extremely cruel.
I agree that the only way to eliminate drug business is to eliminate demand, but allowing any kind of hyperviolent business, ostensibly legal or illegal, to de facto rule one's own country is sickening. I'm not advoating a U.S. invasion of Mexico. I think Mexico is perfectly capable of mustering the national will to clean herself up. Baby steps. Right now there's been a step back, but there will be steps forward.
Things have improved markedly in Columbia. A big problem in Mexico is that while they were only a conduit between the growers and the users they were happy to turn a blind eye and allow the cartels to enrich them. Now that drug use is a big problem in Mexico, the populace is very unhappy.
You seem to love totalitarianism, whether it's as benevolent as Monaco, or as destructive as the cartels. You're entitled to your opinions.
Though it sounds like you're saying we should all become muslims so that the pseudo-religious terrorists who want to kill us will let us live. Give in and less people will die, right?
In the pre-Calderon years, Cartels did not make Mexicans change their lives. In fact, Mexico was in a "bubble boom" and they had little effect on ordinary peoples lives. The Peso was at all time historic highs to the US Dollar etc. Yes it was artificial as the Mexican financial collapse proved. But while upper middle class Mexicans were seemingly enjoying new levels of prosperity, they weren't affected by criminals/drug gangs like today. But with the army's war, they have been affected. And I feel sympathy for poor dying Mexican people.
The reason the "totalitarian" model is used by Castro has much to do with America. Since The Revolution, CIA operatives-US Government are/have been trying to overthrow Castro, both militarily (The Bay of Pigs) and covertly. So is it any surprise that such activity would spur a leader to govern any different than the way he does?
In 2004, an ex CIA went public with a recent plan that the US had a full military invasion of the CUBA on the table.
So yes, Castro runs a tight ship because being 90 miles from Miami, he's not too sure who is doing what and why.
As for Monaco, is there really anything wrong with living in a country with absolute safety, cleanliness, respect, and security?
Or would you rather go next door to the beaches of NICE, where all your belongings will disappear before you blink, businesses are owned by Mafias, and you are sure to be robbed at gunpoint? Oh and don't mind the poodle poo when walking?
Yeah, I'll take A for Totalitarian please.
Before we blow the freedom horn too loudly, let's not forget that just last week the Toronto Police Chief secretly pushed through a new law in parliament that allowed greater Police powers for the upcoming "free protests" of the G20 summit.
And Americans certainly won't forget the Bush Administration's arsenal of manipulated laws and violation of personal freedoms.
And yes they were totalitarian because there was absolutely no recourse allowed. It suddenly became the new law because they decided it was.
Whoops I forgot one.
Stephen Harper's Gov't decided that he didn't need to make the findings of an inquiry into alleged torture and abuse of Afghan detainees by Canadian soldiers public. Because he felt so.
BTW. Steff- I got one for you. About a year ago, Canadian police went on this nation wide massive sting operation against the Hell's Angels and rounded them all up on the same day and locked them away with every charge you can imagine.
One of their compounds was only 10 minutes outside of my town.
But this is the good one. I once had a small customer here in my town and when I mentioned to a friend it was my client, I was told that the owner is a brother of the Head of the Hell's Angels. The entire family of 5 brothers were serious criminals with prison time, murder acquittals etc. But quite honestly, had I never heard this story about the history behind my customer's background, I would never have even thought of it, a really nice guy. He even lived around the corner from me!
You make it sound as if these Drug Cartel leaders would be running charity schools for homeless children in Mexico City if they weren't doing drugs. They are criminals and need to be dealt with as such on both sides of the border. No country or community can function if it is permeated with this activity.
San Antonio has been a major distribution point for drugs and human traffic from Mexico for many years so that part is not a big surprise. The nature of the organization and the inclusion of locals speaks of a major escalation in the crime.
The abuses of children and young women are horrendous and that went on even when the Mexican government was cooperating.
An American Consulate worker and her husband were executed in Ciudad Juarez a few months ago apparently because someone disagreed with a Visa she issued and ordered a hit. Her baby son survived the attack and now lives with his grandparents.
No I do not look forward to a change in government in Mexico.
You make it sound as if these Drug Cartel leaders would be running charity schools for homeless children in Mexico City if they weren't doing drugs.
I think we have to establish something right now. NO Plllog I do not adore or "love destructive cartels". Those are your words and should not be put in my mouth.
Do you really believe your words? You think I, a hard working, peace loving, law abiding Canadian citizen loves ruthless Mexican murderers, who terrorize it's own people and any one who stands in their way? If so, you too are entitled to your opinion but don't be so mean!
I made a simple observation based on raw mathematical numbers. How many innocent Mexican lives were lost before Calderon declared war on the Drug Cartels versus how many lives have been lost after.
I'm sorry but I'm not Salinas and I have no idea how the PRI will approach this. But if history repeats itself, the PRI will be allies of the cartels not enemies. And if so, it will be most unfortunate, again.
And Steff you're right, this is such a sad and hopeless problem and I can fully sympathize in your concern since it is on your doorstep, literally.
By the way, truces between enemies at Gov't levels are not foreign to the world.
As Hamid Karzai made very clear to Washington recently, that any long term stability in Afghanistan can only come after the Taliban is included in government.
So? Any progress? Tiles? Appliances? Stripping? Or are you on vacation?