Smooth sailing.


Google Maps, what a marvel. If only it could learn to plot GPS points, and I could reveal our true route on Saturday in the boat, which went from point green to point red and back. Only we were out in the blue part and didn’t follow so straight a path — sailboats rarely do.

And oh what a weekend it was to be a Detroit boater, it being All-Star weekend and all. The Ameriquest blimp — which still doesn’t have the ring of “the Goodyear blimp” — floated overhead, the RenCen loomed downriver, the birdies chirped and the sun poured down like honey and really seemed to be apologizing for winter. At our turnaround point you could practically spit to Canada. We considered asking for political asylum, or maybe just picking up a few bottles of that miracle sunscreen you can’t buy stateside. We settled for a cautionary tale, told by Alan, of a colleague who was out in his own boat one day on the other side of the border and felt nature’s call. He pulled up to a tiny island, and wandered into the woods. When he came out, he was greeted by a Canadian coast guard officer who gave him a ticket for …illegal entry, I guess.

We use the bucket method aboard our boat. Less likely to cause an international incident. Although I must say, if I had an outboard, so to speak, I’d just go off the leeward rail.

Which reminds me that most of my favorite stupid names for mens/ladies rooms come from the world of boating: Gulls/Buoys, Inboards/Outboards, etc.

Boat people can be fairly silly, when you think about it.

Bloggage: I encourage you to follow that sunscreen link, as it revealed a world I didn’t know existed. A verboten sunblock, brought back over international borders? Do they toss your car to see if you’re packing? And the Freep wins the unintentional hilarity award for, in its helpful sidebar, informing readers of the Detroit-Windsor tunnel toll in planning their shopping budget.

And speaking of All-Star weekend, the NYT looks up the sad remains of Tiger Stadium and notes the obvious: With the All-Star Game — and tomorrow’s home run derby — taking place less than two miles away, Tiger Stadium is closed to the public, just another abandoned building in a city full of them. It’s the “just another abandoned building” that really stings, as that could be the Detroit city crest — a shield showing an abandoned building in the upper-right quadrant. Ouch.

Gene Weingarten sums up the dilemma of the homeowner in a hot real-estate market, who could sell for a huge profit, but would have to spend it all and then some on the next house: Our home has become an item of substantial worth but no practical value. We are like idiot thieves who have stolen the “Mona Lisa” but cannot sell it without getting arrested.

Monday! The week awaits! News as it happens!

Posted at 11:51 pm in Uncategorized |

7 responses to “Smooth sailing.”

  1. Rory J. Thompson said on July 11, 2005 at 11:16 am

    Regarding Gene Weingarten’s housing conundrum, if you can call it that, I have a different take. My wife and I bought our home on Long Island, 25 miles outside of NYC, 13 years ago. It has now more than tripled in value.

    We could sell it today (literally; the market in our town is THAT hot), pay off the note, buy something huge with property for cash and put a hundred grand (or two) in the bank. The catch? We want to move north to Vermont, but have two kids in high school.

    So we have to wait three years for the youngest to graduate and head off to college. We keep watching this market, hoping the “bubble” holds for three more years. But even if it deflates a little, prices in other areas will do the same (we hope).

    Folks ask, “But what will you do for work in Vermont?” Well, the wife is a freelance designera nd artist, so she can work anywhere. As for me, with no mortgage and a couple hundred K in the bank, I’ll go work the rental counter at a ski lodge or flip burgers.

    That’s the plan, anyway…

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  2. Connie said on July 11, 2005 at 11:57 am

    My brother is a hobby pilot, and he has figured out how to overlay his GPS plot on aerial photo maps, and then emails it to me. There must some source other than google maps that will let you do that. Of course his day job is corporate webmaster, so he has access to resources us normal folk don’t.

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  3. alex said on July 11, 2005 at 12:54 pm

    I’m familiar with Gene Weingarten’s conundrum. I held onto my place in Chicago for fifteen years because I couldn’t afford anything better, never mind my property nearly quadrupled in value during that time. So I traded up by moving to the reddest Red State in the north, bought a fab property and took what employment I could get. Love it here. And not hurting for friends as free thinkers in these parts are so starved for good company.

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  4. Nance said on July 11, 2005 at 4:46 pm

    Rory, you and Alex point out one side of the housing boom. Alan and I bought our first house 13 years ago, in Fort Wayne. When we sold six months ago, it had increased about…43 percent in value. Fortunately for us, we’d been saving for “our next house” almost since the beginning. Moral: Lucky you live in the NYC metro area. Lucky Alex was in Chicago. If money is stored freedom, you could be heading to Vermont with a lot less freedom.

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  5. mary said on July 11, 2005 at 5:41 pm

    I bought my house in LA 20 years ago for 149k. The house two doors away from mine sold last month for 539k. It was on the market same time mine was twenty years ago, and has about half the square footage and half the backyard. Then it sold for 86k. I figure I have a house worth about three quarters of a million dollars to someone. A house down the street is on the market for 1.2 million. If you could see these houses, you would wonder about the sanity anyone paying those prices.

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  6. ashley said on July 11, 2005 at 8:02 pm

    Congrats. You all got in. Now I’m priced out. I hate capitalism. ;^)

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  7. Susan said on July 11, 2005 at 10:29 pm

    Not For Sale: Homeowners Combat Zealous Developers

    “With soaring home prices encouraging developers to snap up available land – home prices rose nearly 11 percent nationwide in 2004, the highest jump since 1979 – homeowners in some booming regions have begun posting “Not For Sale” signs in their homes and yards to protest the activities of overly aggressive developers and other would-be buyers.”

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