Let’s Hope There’s A Special Place in Hell For These Guys

If you haven’t heard yet, McKinney Apartments in Dallas, Texas, are refusing to let dying Matthew Budge out of his lease.  There’s a rare form of cancer running through the 36 year old’s body, and he doesn’t have long to live.  He’s trying to get his family (wife and 6 kids) moved out of the state, so they can be closer to family, and have a support system in place, to get them through the hard times that are inevitably ahead. 

Proving themselves to be the most obnoxious property managers in the universe, McKinney apartments want to squeeze every last dime out of this dying man’s pockets.  They refuse to let him out of the lease without a $9000 payment in rent, penalties and fees. 

If you’re listening Karma – please, now is the time to teach these heartless fools a lesson in manners.  How about a plague of lice in their office?

Matthew Budge’s Blog

News Report From WFAA

Video From CNN

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“Shine” On Yahoo – Shine On!

shine.gifQuick Site Review:

Found a new site for women – Shine – from yahoo.  Going back to what I was talking about a few months ago in “They’ve Got The Power” , we have another example of big business chasing down women as the ultimate consumer, which can only be a good thing for women.

Shine is a well-organized site, with an obviously smart team putting everything together.   As soon as I hit it yesterday, I was drawn in with all the news, stories and features that were targetted for my demographic/age group (and never mind asking what age group that might be). They have a wide range of topics, not just centering on the typical “mom” and “fashion” stories, and a nice layout. Best of all, you can start your own blog, which of course, I’ve already done, because I just can’t stop talking. 

Check them out, but be warned,  be prepared to spend a couple of hours searching around, there’s a ton of good stuff here.    

Cucumber Pepsi – I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no

cucumber-pepsi.jpgIt’s true.  Pepsi has introduced “Cucumber Pepsi” in Tokyo. 

I’m not saying yes – but I’m not saying no either. The cucumber is interesting, who doesn’t like cucumber? I’m a little concerned though because it’s an “artificial flavour to make you think of cucumber”

I’d give it a shot though – why not?  You only live once.

Read about Pepsi Ice Cucumber and other new flavours on MSNBC

Freerice.com – pass it along

freericelogo.gifExcellent, excellent program.  Stop giving your free time to Scrabulous and Facebook; give it to Freerice.com and help feed the hungry. 

Free Rice has a fabulous vocabulary game. The game itself is easy to use, the words are interesting, and the difficulty adjusts to your personal level.  Your mental dictionary will definitely improve. The best part of course is that as you’re playing it,  you’re generating ad revenues which will purchase rice for the United Nations World Food Program. 

We’re spending hours every day, fiddling around with all the games and toys on Facebook, but the only people that helps is Facebook.  Do a little good today and spend some time on Freerice.com – and tell your friends too. 

They’re just shameful aren’t they?

948west7thave.jpgI actually had a little bit of milk escape out my nose when I read this opening line today:

” Condominium markets in Vancouver and Victoria will offer solid opportunities in 2008 for first-time homebuyers looking for accessible, affordable housing in the province’s major urban centres,”

This little tidbit was offered by the Good Folks of Genworth Financial – “The HomeOwnership People” – whose president goes on to be quoted as saying:

“And with innovative mortgage solutions available, it makes that first-time purchase more accessible and affordable than ever” 

Yea, ’cause “innovative” mortgage solutions worked so well in the U.S.

I won’t bring out all the charts and statistics to show just how wrong a Vancouver condo purchase is (I’ve done that here) and I’ll only quickly mention that their numbers are wrong – they have 2007 condo prices at $328k when we ended 2007 with apartment prices of $377k; we haven’t been $328k since somewhere around July 2006. 

All that I want to know is –  do you think they feel a little dirty writing this stuff?  

**********

In case we forget that real estate does drop in value in Vancouver:

I’ve read this piece several times, but found it today posted on vancouvercondo.info – It was posted by “A” who gave credit to “Da Mann”

A flash from the past :

1. “Price stability, rather than decline, would be expected for most of the housing stock . . . since underlying home ownership demand remains strong due to continued high immigration.” (Frank Clayton, January 18th 1981 in the Sun. link The market crashed by about 50% over the following year. )

2. Renaud said he thinks that the trend to prices for houses has been broken by a temporary lull and that by [next year] or so prices will be equal to or greater than peak prices. (Claude Renaud, VP of Mortgage Insurance Canada on April 14, 1982. link The market took 26 quarters (over 6 years) to regain its peak in real terms.)

3. “To those who are waiting for Vancouver house prices to collapse, I can only advise them not to hold their breath . . . Unless there is a major recession or significant depopulation, house prices are unlikely to drop significantly.” (Jerry Jackman, VP Royal Lepage, November 18, 1988 in the Vancouver Sun. link In 1989, prices started to drop – with an eventual 30% or so drop. Real prices did not attain these heights again for 58 quarters, or around 15 years.)

4. “We are definitely in a transition market in areas such as the West Side, Vancouver East, and Burnaby . . . it is too early to tell if the market will stall.” (Jerry Jackman, April 20th 1989 in the Province. link Prices did not recover in real terms until 15 years later.)

5. “It is unlikely that prices will decline significantly.” (JJ again, July 18th 1989 in the Sun. link)

6. “The whole world wants Vancouver because everybody is moving here now and everything points up, up, up.” (Realtor David Goodman, December, 1989 in the Sun. link The market did not reach these heights again for 15 years.)

7. ” . . .no one is panicking over the west side housing market and he insists that it has simply ‘normalized’.” (Jerry Jackman, January 27th 1990 quoted in the Sun. link West-side prices fell by 40% in the next 2 years.)

8. “I can’t see prices reversing themselves there [in the west side] because it is still a very desirable place to live.” (Same as above.)

9. “The market is entering a more ‘normal’ phase.” (REBGV president Brian Calder, Feb 2, 1990 in the Sun. link If normal means that it takes 15 years to recover, then ‘normal’ it was.)

10. “A BC Central Credit Union newsletter released Tuesday said BC’s housing market is currently experiencing a contractionary phase but the worst of that phase should be over by late summer or early fall.” (BC Credit Union economist Richard Allen quoted in the Sun, July 5th 1995. link The decline in the late 90s was slow, but it took 28 quarters to bottom out and 33 quarters to recover to the previous peak. Some ‘phase’, eh?)

You Gotta Love The Environmentally Friendly Vodka

vodka_1.jpgSee – Anything can be Green – even Vodka. 

Jumping on the environmental train is McCormick Distillery and their new Vodka 360 . Recycled bottles, environmentally friendly labels and ink, and a charitable donation to boot – there’s no reason not to buy Vodka 360.  

Another excellent example of companies using a Green theme to make their products stand out on the shelf.  The Vodka 360 brand now has a “feel-good” aura to it, that will have hands reaching for their bottles, instead of the competition’s.

Inhabitat.com has a full review here:

360 Vodka: World’s First Eco – Friendly Premium Spirit

Greenpeace loves Sony

sony-notebook.jpgBlog and Run:

Greenpeace has released their guide to electronics this week and gave a big thumbs up to the Sony TZ.  The TZ has no beryllium in it, one of the most harmful chemicals we know. Congratulations to Sony!

Full Review from Wired

Full Report from GreenPeace