Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The strangest house I've ever seen


From The Wall Street Journal:
From the looks of it, E.T. has come back to Earth and set up shop in Signal Mountain, Tenn. At least, that’s what one might think upon stumbling across the house designed like a spaceship at 1408 Palisades Road. ...

Known as “The Spaceship House,” the building was the creation of Curtis King, who spent $250,000 to have it built for his son in 1973, according to Terry Posey, an auctioneer with Crye-Leike Auction of Cleveland, Tenn. ...

Made of steel and concrete, the structure provides nearly 2,000 square feet of living space, including three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a bar and entertainment area. The rooms are round, just like the house itself, and are situated around a central point. ...

Signal Mountain resident James Faris placed a winning bid of $119,000 on the Spaceship House at yesterday’s auction, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

37 comments:

  1. Wow! It looks like a science project.

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  2. Just when I thought oil was beginning to stabilize - just when I thought it was safe to say bottom - uh oh!!!

    "The latest cut is the biggest in the group's history and is slightly larger than markets were expecting...We needed to do something big. Demand is falling fast," Kuwait oil minister Mohammad Al Olaim told Dow Jones Newswires after the meeting."

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122950555647213917.html

    AND

    "Between $25 and $30 a barrel is probably as low as oil prices could go unless the economic situations gets "much, much worse," Williams said.
    "Could it [oil] drop to $10? Yes, but it wouldn't stay there for long, because at $10 per barrel, OPEC will get discipline," he said."

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Oil-futures-fall-8-after/story.aspx?guid=%7BFA7024FB%2D88C8%2D4699%2D899A%2D27103F7222D3%7D

    I still think this is bottom, I still think this is an overreaction. I still think this is a 10 year pullback from peak oil not a 50 year pullback from peak. Still, this is stunning.

    I saw a futures contract for gasoline - $0.67 cents a gallon. I still think is overkill, but I said it before, and I will say it again, demand destruction is a bitch - lets see how far down the rabbit hole this thing goes...

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  3. From the Irvine housing blog:

    "The above median properties often stabilize just above rental parity (+10%.) This happens for a number of reasons: 1. The longer ownership period of these homes justifies a higher investment premium. 2. The limited supply makes them scarce. 3. Rents are more variable at the high end as most people who can afford the higher rents generally own instead."

    Ahhh it starts. Slowly the bubble sitters to realize that all their charts and graphs do not explain every market. Slowly they realize that some markets do indeed do better than others. Eventually the come to realize if the rent vs. own chart still says rent, but theres little decent inventory left to buy and no prospect of it ever getting down to rent parity, you better put down a bid or risk being PRICED OUT FOREVER!!!

    The Irvine housing guy is a permadoomer so its really something to see a statement like this coming from him even 10% above rental parity is a shocking admission.

    This blog is light years ahead in that if I say "rental parity will never be reached in arlington", I will only get one maybe two angry responses, and one of them is from the guy who really doesnt care but who throws up choice flaim baits to get the bubble heads all riled up.

    Still, there is at least one guy, one bubble head sitting in his rented apartment with charts galore and posters of Peter Shiff and Mr. Mortgage on his wall. He is a fan of Irvine renter, but its been a while since he looked at his site.

    Suddenly he is reading this post of mine, thinking about what his hero irvine renter said and thinking...no..no..no..No..No..NO..NO..NOOOOOOOOOOOO! IT CANT BE!!!!! MY YAHOO EZ CHART SAYS ITS BETTER TO RENT THAN BUY, MY USATODAY INCOME GRAPH SAYS ARLINGTON WILL HAVE 3X INCOME PRICING AT JAN 23, 2009 AT 4:06PM. MY GOD THEY MIGHT BE WRONG - ARLINGTON MAY BE DIFFERENT!!!!!!

    God I love it!!!

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  4. Anon:

    Flame bait much?

    Time to put down the pipe and stop listening to the voices in your head. Happiness is not in the next puff.

    Perhaps everyone but you agrees that if renting is cheaper, all other things being equal, renting is the thing to do. Perhaps the "all other things being equal" thing is too ambiguous?

    Chuck

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  5. PS.

    That's a sweet house for $119K.

    Totally awesome to the max.

    Chuck

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  6. You are using my copyrighted image of David Lereah on your blog without my permission.

    http://bubblemeter.blogspot.com/2008/05/hes-baaaaaaaaack.html

    Please remove this image immediately.

    I earn my living and support my family through the use and licensing of my copyrighted images. You have placed my image on your site making it available for anyone to use without permission or compensation regarding it's use.

    Please remove this image immediately.

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  7. "Chuck Ponzi said...

    Perhaps everyone but you agrees that if renting is cheaper, all other things being equal, renting is the thing to do."

    Wow - I started trolling at 3:10 PM, and by 3:19 the first fish takes the bait - I starged reeling in and it felt like a big one. It was, low and behold I landed chuck ponzi - CHUCK PONZI, for god sakes - one of the oldest and most venerable bubbleheads out there!

    Normally these veteran bubble heads are too wise to fall for this - they get to be old and big by staying away, letting the various newbie anonymous doomers respond bitterly to a anony like me. And to think I landed a 10 pounder on my first cast.

    OK well thats enough for today. Still, I must have struck a nerve - thank you Irvine Renter - this is a great flame bait! I will save this one and drop it into another pond. Maybe I can get Patrick from Patrick.net to bite. SEE YA!!!

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  8. Heterosexual athleteDecember 17, 2008 9:42 PM

    The best thing about the Gay Oil Guru (GOG) is that he's out of the gene pool forever. And he drives an SUV. And he tries to impress strangers on the internet. And he doesn't realize that OPEC cannot produce product at 2005 levels again. Ever. Even if they want to. Even if demand calls for it.

    Well, that is more than one thing. But its all good.

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  9. The whole Arlington argument is the lamest argument the trolls keep using. Who the hell cares about Arlington? There are 5.3 million people in the Washington metropolitan area, and only 0.2 million of them live in Arlington.

    The Washington DC proper argument is the second lamest. 0.6 million people live in DC.

    Combined, DC + Arlington make up only 15% of the area's population, but the trolls base their entire arguments on these two municipalities.

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  10. I do drive an SUV - 4K miles a year (actually I drove closer to 5400 this year). I didnt know that OPEC couldnt produce at 05 levels. I hope they can produce at 1975 levels if thats all thats needed.

    You should hope for this too. If they cant, theres going to be a lot of very very pissed off very very unstable counties in the mid east. Ive got 40 more years of pollutin to do on this planet. I dont want to see them get so disaffected they implode leaving a bunch of failed states with time on their hands to shout death to America.

    With as little as I drive, maybe I should buy a dump truck to help support demand. Or maybe impregnate some chick, produce some progeny of my own to increase demand.

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  11. Randy Santos said...
    "You are using my copyrighted image of David Lereah on your blog without my permission."

    Hi Randy. I checked out your blog and your web site. You take excellent photographs.

    I didn't post that particular blog post and I don't have administrator rights on this blog, so I have no ability to remove the image. You should email the blog administrator here if you believe it should be taken down.

    With that said, let me point out that Bubble Meter's use of the David Lereah photo constitutes fair use under U.S. copyright law, and you cannot legally issue takedown notices without first determining whether the alleged infringement constitutes fair use. Let's examine the four tests for fair use:

    1) The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes: This blog is a hobby. I personally blog for free, so for me blogging is a non-profit activity. David may generate minimal income from Google Adwords, but I would be shocked if as much as 1% of his annual income came from blogging. The raison d'être of this blog is to warn people about the dangers of the housing bubble. This blog has been doing that since before the dangers became apparent to the general public.

    2) The nature of the copied work: The photo in question is a photo of the former chief economist of the National Association of Realtors—a man who repeated mislead the press and the public about the outlook for the housing market. David Lereah even wrote books suckering people into believing that "the real estate boom will not bust." This man should be exposed for the financial harm he helped cause for many American families. Posting photos of him is an essential part of exposing him.

    3) The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: The image in question is 221 pixels by 320 pixels. This is almost certainly a drastically scaled-down version of the original. Even my cheap point-and-shoot camera has a resolution substantially higher than that. As a professional photographer, I strongly doubt you do your portrait photography with cheap point-and-shoot cameras. If you wish, I'm sure we could crop the photo.

    4) The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work: Like most blogs, this blog is a hobby. Licensing the photo is simply not something we are in a position to do. Thus, you do not lose out on any licensing revenues when we post the photo without permission. On the other hand, if you simply requested that we link to your website when posting the photo, then it might help generate revenue for you. Incoming links can benefit you in two ways. First, they directly encourage people to visit your commercial website. Second (and more importantly), they help boost your website's Google PageRank, thus helping your commercial website appear higher in internet search results. I can tell from the number of keywords written on your commercial website that you are interested in being found in internet search results. Google's PageRank algorithm strongly values a website's incoming links. Rather than asking hobbyist bloggers to remove the photos, it may benefit you more financially if you ask them to link to your website whenever they use your photos.

    As a final note, let me say that I cannot speak for David, but if you choose to engage in any legal action against me, I would contact the Electronic Frontier Foundation and ask for their help in my defense. After all, they love fair use cases. I would also counter-sue for any legal costs since copyright holders cannot legally issue takedown notices without first determining whether the alleged infringement constitutes fair use.

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  12. "Peak oil" is a fantasy, but keep smoking that crack, moron.

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  13. "James said...

    Combined, DC + Arlington make up only 15% of the area's population, but the trolls base their entire arguments on these two municipalities."

    James you are essentially saying that these two tiny areas are "different". Do you understand the heresy it was to say that during the peak days of the bubble church?

    Arl & DC prices rose to fantastic heights 2000-2005, just like the rest of the area. Those of us who believed in the whole "gentrification" meme thought the area had changed and at least some portion of the run up was due to something other than the bubble.

    This was scandalous, it was met with mocking cries of "its different here" and you think that area is "special". Well frankly, YES, we thought (or at least I thought) that unlike the suburbs, the price gains here was a mix of buble pricing and true gains. I thought the bubble component of the run up would go away, but the gains due to CHANGE would remain.

    Only now that the bubble has deflated, and we are sifting through the wreckage, can we see this. Again prices have come down (or stagnated in the case of DC) but this is a far cry of the 30-50% off prices you see farther and farther out you go.

    In sum, it is only these tiny areas I was concerned about to begin with. It was only these tiny areas that had a chance of holding onto a good portion of bubble year gains. It turns out this was/is correct, and let me tell you, vindication is sweet...

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  14. "James you are essentially saying that these two tiny areas are "different". Do you understand the heresy it was to say that during the peak days of the bubble church?"

    ----------
    No, he didn't. You are putting words in his mouth.

    What James essentially (and accurately) said was the vast majority of people out there don't give a shit about these two places.

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  15. Thx for an interesting post. I've been thinking about this years volatility for some time and this thread seems a good one to post my tuppence-worth;

    Is the main reason inelastic supply? On the upside we got to the position of almost zero spare capacity and we know creation of new supply takes time - far more time than the rate at which demand was growing. So once demand hit capacity the price shot up to the point at which demand was reduced. We get a brief glimpse of how much consumers are prepared to pay for oil, at least short-term.

    The dramatic fall in price is just as easy to understand if you assume that supply holds up in the face of reduced demand. And I think it does unless OPEC manage to reduce it - history suggests they struggle thanks to the prisoners dilemma;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma

    For oil producers it pays to keep pumping for all they are worth because, even at lower prices, they are better off covering part of their OPEX even if they can't cover all of it. The price point at which pumping is no longer cost effective is far lower than the point at which total costs are not covered (better to have some income to offset costs rather than none!).

    Reduction in longer-term supply will happen as projects get delayed. But, as for the argument on the way up, this effect is on a different time-scale than the current rate of demand destruction. So a temporary gap opens up under the supply ceiling and prices head south rapidly.

    So we have the possibility for fluctuations in demand that are not time-matched with fluctuations in supply. Maybe just a re-wording of others thoughts on here but sometimes it helps me to get my thoughts down even if just to clarify them for myself!

    If this argument is correct then as soon as demand recovers to meet capacity, presumably with global recovery, then prices will once more shoot up. The only question (admittedly it's a big one) is when this recovery will happen.

    TW

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  16. What James essentially (and accurately) said was the vast majority of people out there don't give a shit about these two places.

    No sex and too much porn makes this truck driver 'cranky'. Too bad about your losses, but it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

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  17. Hi Gog!

    I own a luxury sedan and drive about 700 miles per year; for pleasure only.

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  18. Gay Oil Guru/MagnateDecember 18, 2008 10:49 AM

    TW - you are pretty much right on the money. The prisoners dilemma is that facing OPEC and really any entity that tries to control supply as a cartel.

    Cartel Theory is that a bunch of self motivated actors can get together and act together to reducing supply and (given inelestic demand) boost prices. For this to work, you need barriers to entry and monopolistic actions by the cartel members.

    The barriers to entry is obvious. Most countires do not likely have alot of undiscovered oil, and its expensive as hell to start an oil company. So this part of the equasion we have.

    The one part we are missing, is the monopolistic acting. OPEC is made up of a bunch of individual, self motivated actors, they realize its in their own best interest to cheat on production limts (pump more) so long as everyone else stays within their limits. Problem is, nearly every OPEC nation thinks this way, and everyone has a tendency to cheat (i.e. the prisoners dilemma).

    This is the problem facing some cartels, and OPEC has a history of wanton cheating so the market is saying, "we dont believe you are going to cut" and is pricing the cheating in. Every once in a while OPEC gets its act together, but most of the time, its a pretty lax cartel.

    Compare them to a cartel like DeBeers, (the diamond guys). There are more than enough diamonds out there to drive prices down to zilch, yet prices remain high. Unlike OPEC, these guys are ruthless in their cartel enforcement (cross them once, you are out of the cartel), and for the most part, it works. You would have thought the introduction of synthetic diamonds years ago would have ruined them - it hasnt. They have effectively convinced consumers (really women) the lab created diamonds are no good - you need the real thing - what a crock!!! They are everything what OPEC is not, but wishes it could be.

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  19. "Most countires do not likely have alot of undiscovered oil...

    That would be wrong, oh so wrong.

    And there is the removal of the card that makes your "theory" and that of other frenetic peak oilers collapse

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  20. That would be wrong, oh so wrong.

    Your evidence of vast, easily accessed reserves of crude in "most countries" is what, exactly?

    Same evidence that bigfoot exists, right?

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  21. "I dont want to see them get so disaffected they implode leaving a bunch of failed states with time on their hands to shout death to America."

    You sound just like a religous zealot, talking about Revalations.

    Be gone, religious freak!

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  22. "Anony said.

    Most countires do not likely have alot of undiscovered oil...

    That would be wrong, oh so wrong.

    And there is the removal of the card that makes your "theory" and that of other frenetic peak oilers collapse"

    Tsk Tsk Anon - you siezed upon a statement of mine, and think you have uprooted the whole argument. Yet in your zeal to quickly post my commeuppance, you have forgotten the other part of the equasion - barriers to entry.

    Perhaps I mispoke, maybe there is a ton of oil, but its far deeper or far more difficult to get to than any we extract now. Does the fact that it exists, mean its cost feasible to get it? What if the cost of extracting it would require a built in price of $18,000 a barrel. How many barrels do you think we would sell at that price?

    What if we found out the Moon was a giant oil baloon with capacity to supply the earth for 100,000 years. What effect would that have on prices.

    The answer is none - hence there are BARRIERS TO ENTRY (or perhaps more accurately cost feasibility issues) that are preventing these discoveries from being put to use.

    Its funny in all your efforts to torment me, all your posts seem to blather on about peak oil, Thousand dollar barrel prices, and other similar nonsense. While all these things could happen, without a basic understanding of economic principles (like supply, demand, elasticity, market clearing prices, etc.) you clearly do not understand there are much much larger forces at work.

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  23. GOG, just fyi; There is more than one anon here trolling for your comments. I know, because I'm one of them, but I'm not the others.

    Do you leer at straight men sitting near you in restaurants with their girlfriends, wives, or families?

    We were in Lariol Plaza recently, sitting near a large party of very drunken gay men. They were shouting words like "N*****" and "C***" at people they presumably did not find attractive. (Did I mention they were very drunk?) My brother in law finally jumped up and told them to stop.

    The whole notion of gay men as being somehow more 'evolved' than others is completely erroneous. There is nothing worse than suburban gays migrating to the city and acting aloof. {groan} {eye roll}

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  24. Did I ever say I was gay - you know the trolling goes both ways (no pun intended on the "both ways" remark )

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  25. "suburban gays migrating to the city and acting aloof.."

    That's the majority of the posters here.

    Worse, they're stinking transplants.

    Most were probably born in some place they refer to as podunk.

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  26. The really funny thing is if I am not gay, which one of us is more immature, you trolling about gay comments from someone who isnt gay, or me for indulging some of your trolling by insinuiting I may be gay?

    Clearly we both have way too much time on our hands...

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  27. Clearly we both have way too much time on our hands...

    Yes indeed! Thanks for being completely honest and/or totally misleading, or something in between. ;-)

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  28. Maven of Oil who is GayDecember 18, 2008 1:11 PM

    Yes indeed! Thanks for being completely honest and/or totally misleading, or something in between. ;-)

    Im trying to stifle my laugh as I read this. Hope my co workers dont hear - damn that was funny.

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  29. James-

    I did contact the admin- David, and have received no response. Perhaps you may please make sure he is aware of my request.

    I have politely requested removal of my image from this site. I know the same image was removed from David Lereah Watch as requested. I have no connection with David Lereah but this is my copyrighted image and is being used without my permission and made available through this site for anyone to use with no reference to origin,

    Use of this image on this blog, as used, in no way constitutes "Fair Use" as you have suggested. You can be certain I am familiar with my rights and the law regarding this. I am politely and professionally requesting this image be removed.

    Am I to understand from your response that my request is denied and this image will not be removed?

    I am asking again- please remove this image from this blog. I earn my living and support my family through the licensing of my work. I'm just not clear on why you have a problem with my request.

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  30. I'd make an offer for $200,000 for this on the one condition that this house can actually fly like a UFO.

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  31. Randy Santos said...
    "I did contact the admin- David, and have received no response. Perhaps you may please make sure he is aware of my request."

    Randy,

    I emailed David as well, and have also not yet received a response. Unfortunately, while David is the blog administrator, he is also a fairly absent blog administrator. This does make things difficult from time to time. My suggestion is to be patient and keep emailing him periodically.

    "Am I to understand from your response that my request is denied and this image will not be removed?"

    No, that is not correct. I made my case for why it is fair use. However, since I did not post that particular post, and since I don't have administrator privileges on this blog, I have no more ability to remove the image than you do.

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  32. Randy,

    You've done quite a bit of work for the National Association of Realtors over the years, haven't you? They're a fairly steady customer of yours, aren't they? In fact, it would probably be safe to say that you have a vested financial interest in using your copyright on photos of NAR staff as a weapon to fight criticism of that organization, isn't it?

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  33. I have done a lot of work for NAR going back many many years, they were a good client. Although, I stopped doing that sort of work several years ago and haven't worked with them in quite some time.

    I have no vested financial interest, for that matter any interest at all in protecting NAR from criticism or comment. Say what you want, free speech is your right and important. It is also my right to protect my work (registered w/US Copyright Office) from misuse. My interest is in working hard and providing for my family. I see nothing wrong in that.

    By placing that image on this site, at over 5mb btw, (click the image to see the file which resides on your server), you are placing this image out there for ANYONE to use, with no attribution towards it's origin. The MetaData has been stripped as well. It shows up on page 1-2 with Google Search. This directly effects my potential future income with regards to this image. It is no different than if you snuck into my house and stole money from my kid's piggybank,

    There are also a very specific set of license agreements in place with regards to the use of this image. Agreements that would allow certain corporate 3rd parties (that this image is licensed to), if they choose, to seek action with regards to unlicensed use of this image.

    There is no motive here other than to protect my work. This is how I earn my living and am serious about it. I have two seriously disabled children I must provide for, now and well into the future.

    I will end this discussion wishing you success and prosperity in the coming year.

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  34. Randy Santos said...
    "I have done a lot of work for NAR going back many many years, they were a good client. Although, I stopped doing that sort of work several years ago and haven't worked with them in quite some time."

    I apologize for my last comment. I should have assumed good faith, but when I saw you did a lot of work for NAR I began to doubt it. I'm sorry.

    "By placing that image on this site, at over 5mb btw, (click the image to see the file which resides on your server)"

    Oh, wow! That file's huge. Firefox tells me it's 214.69 KB, not 5 MB, but it's still much bigger than I realized.

    I really don't know what is up with David. I don't have any contact information for him besides his email address. We only communicate via the internet. A while back he was unresponsive for a while, and it turned out that he had gotten locked out of his Google account, which meant he couldn't access Gmail or make changes on Blogger (both are Google-owned).

    It doesn't make much sense to me that he would remove the photo from his David Lereah Watch blog, but not this one. I assume you posted your takedown requests to both blogs at roughly the same time.

    This directly effects my potential future income with regards to this image. It is no different than if you snuck into my house and stole money from my kid's piggybank.

    It is very different from whether we snuck into your house and stole money from your kid's piggybank, because such a statement assumes that people who copy the photo would have paid the royalty fee, which in the vast majority of cases is simply not true. However, that aside, I don't want you to lose any revenue, and just as importantly, I don't want you to feel that you are losing revenue. So, I do hope David removes the photo ASAP.

    I know it can appear to you that I am stonewalling you, since blog readers can't see who has administrator rights and who doesn't. All I can say to that is if you check the posts prior to June 2008, you will see that David was the only blogger here. I offered to help David on this blog in early June because he was losing interest in maintaining it. I have been the dominant blogger since then, but he still maintains sole administrator rights. Since you have a blog on Blogspot as well, you can check the blog settings to see that you can add team members and decide whether the team members can have administrator rights. I do not.

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  35. Back to the picture :D, look's like a giant alien spider :P

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  36. Aliens have landed, my guess is this guy is a huge Star Trek fan.

    Sharon Hollas - Surrey Real Estate

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  37. "You would have thought the introduction of synthetic diamonds years ago would have ruined them - it hasnt. They have effectively convinced consumers (really women) the lab created diamonds are no good - you need the real thing - what a crock!!! They are everything what OPEC is not, but wishes it could be."

    Synthetic colorless diamonds suitable for use in jewelry are only starting to come on the market, and not yet in sizes that are popular for rings. For several years there has been an occasional article about the companies producing colorless jewelry-sized CVD diamonds, but they have only started selling jewelry just recently, and are not really up and running yet with enough inventory of larger diamonds.

    Colored synthetic diamonds have been available for many years, but these are less popular and still priced at multiple thousands per carat, so they're not a great substitute for a natural diamond.

    I think it will be very interesting to see what happens when colorless CVD diamonds are available in quantity to the consumer.

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