Archive for the ‘neighborhood’ Category

Professional Thieves

The president of the homeowner’s board sent an email this morning alerting residents of a house break-in.  The news comes just two before I leave for Santa Fe.  The details lead one to believe this was a professional heist, as opposed to a smash and grab for easily fenced items to get money for drugs.  The alarm system was disabled, the most valuable items in the house were taken, along with the removal of a wall safe.  The thieves also stole a Range Rover from the garage leaving behind a Porsche Panamera and BMW 5 series.   The thieves knew the location of the valuables and the wall safe, which leads one to believe the house was cased, or, it’s an inside job.  The house is across the street from the rich guys’ mansion which is still being renovated.  There’s a fleet of trucks on the street every day so pedestrians would not be suspicious if the thieves arrived in a work truck.

I really don’t have anything to worry about while I’m away.  I have aging electronics.  I don’t have a safe of any kind.  My art isn’t valuable enough to steal.  I don’t live on street filled with multi-million dollar mansions.  Most of my assets are financial instruments.  I guess I do need to worry about identity theft and financial cyber crimes.   I’ll just bury those thoughts for now.


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Shameful Behavior

My neighbors next door decided to get a new dog since their aging Schnauzers were nearing end of life. They found the perfect dog, an all-black German Shepherd. The dog was flown to Denver from Hungary. A trainer accompanied the dog and stayed with the couple for two weeks to ensure the dog was settled in.

My neighbors walked the German Shepherd with an shock collar which did not comply with the leash laws. The German Shepherd attacked two other dogs on two separate occasions. My neighbors shelled out $800 to cover the vet bills for the dogs who were attacked. The neighbors continues to walk the dog off-leash with the shock collar but always walked the Schnauzers on-leash.

Last weekend, the husband flew to Boston with the dog to return it to the importers. It just didn’t work out for them. The dog will be rehomed in a rural setting. The importer did not refund $30,000 cost of the dog.

I think my neighbors have an out of control sense of entitlement given their wealth. Walking a dog off-leash even though it has attacked two other dogs is reprehensible behavior. No need to worry. They can afford to pay the vet bills for the injured dogs. Returning a $30,000 dog to the importer because it just didn’t work out. Simply, shameful behavior given they never tried walking the dog on-leash.

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The fund raising dinner turned out to be more enjoyable once I found my neighbors and sat down for dinner. The food was good and the program was interesting. I was seated next to another neighborhood couple who live one street away. He is a partner in a law firm while she is a psychiatrist. I was given a very detailed description of their two month trip to the United Kingdom. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They didn’t seem interested in my life. They did ask me where I lived. This was odd given I’ve lived two houses away for twenty-five years. You know self-absorbed some people with money can be. Perhaps they don’t remember where I live because I don’t have one of the architecturally significant houses in the neighborhood. The next topic of conversation was the pending kitchen renovation of their 1930s era mansion. Without asking, the husband informed me the new kitchen will cost $280,000. The project hasn’t started because the wife can’t decide between cabinets imported from England or France. I know that would keep me up at night. After hearing about their two month vacation and their kitchen renovation, I was surprised they only donated $500 in the live action money ask. I was sure they were going to pony up five or ten thousand. I guess lavish vacations and expensive kitchen renovations are more important than mental health services for the commoner. That’s another oddity given the wife is a psychiatrist.

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It’s Gone



The house was scapped off yesterday. A new $4m house will be built on the lot.

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The country is in the midst of what some are calling a constitutional crisis. This is nothing compared to the issues discussed at the recent homeowners meeting.

Neighbors of man who has a seven-bedroom house are furious that he is renting six of the bedrooms on Airbnb. The man has obtained the proper permits and is complying with the city’s short-term rental regulations. The neighbors want the covenants revised to forbid short-term rentals like Airbnb.

A real estate investor purchased a four-bedroom house which he turned into a rooming house. At times, there are eight cars, all with Oregon license plates, at the house. The house is not zoned for multiple long-term tenants. The executive board has turned this issue over to the law firm representing the neighborhood.

A woman who bought a two-story red-brick colonial presented plans to the architectural committee to replace the brick with stone. The surrounding neighbors are opposed to the plans because there are no all-stone houses in the neighborhood. The architectural bylaws do not allow manufactured stone so this will be a very expensive renovation.

The neighbors whose houses are adjacent to the six acre property owned by the rich guys are fed up with the endless renovations. To date, the guys have spent $75m renovating their 33,000 sq. ft. mansion and grounds. The latest project involves moving the in-ground swimming pool three inches because it’s not centered.

Two houses were recently burglarized. Small electronics were stolen at both homes. Neither owner had turned on their security system. One woman, whose house was burglarized, checked into a hotel for a week because she didn’t feel safe in her home. Say it with me, bitch please! Turn on your security system.

As you can see, a constitutional crises pales in comparison to the first world problems in my neighborhood

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Out With The Old

This two bedroom, 2,000 sq. ft. house, sitting on a quarter acre lot recently sold for $980,000. The house, built in 1953, has been diagnosed with numerous code issues. The house will be scraped. The new owners have submitted two sets of off-the-shelf plans to the architectural review committee. Both sets of plans have been rejected for not being compatible with the other houses and architectural styles on the street. One would think that if the owners had nearly a million in cash to buy the house, and are planning to spend another three million on the new house, they could afford to hire an architect to design a house that will meet the architectural guidelines. Why would one skimp on architecture when one is building a high-end home?

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Good Luck With That

I attended a neighborhood holiday party on Sunday. The hosts live down the street from my house. They have three children in college. Their son is getting his PhD in mathematics at UT Austin, their middle child just graduated from NYU and their youngest is a junior at USC. Needless to say, they spend a fortune on tuition every year.

I was talking to their youngest child at the party. She’s clearly very intelligent. She’s getting a degree in sociology. She went on to explain her specific area of study. I didn’t understand half of what she said. I asked her what type of job one can get based on her studies. She didn’t know. She hadn’t thought about what to do after college because she has been so focused on her studies.

Does anyone see a problem here? Her parents are a lawyer and an accountant. This must be driving them crazy.

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