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Today's Turkey

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It's been quite a while since I did one of these. I should probably do them more often, just to make my point.

This Eyesore Is Falling Apart But Was It Designed by a Famous Architect!

General: La Mesa, 3 Bedroom, 1.75 Bathroom


What's Wrong With It: Quicker and easier to ask what isn't. Sits on a secondary street that's the main route through the neighborhood. Cars fly up and down that street at freeway speeds at all hours of day and night. No grass and nowhere for kids to play. Several nice mature trees, but their root systems are spreading, the front yard is covered in ankle deep plants to no good purpose, the back yard is split up into half a dozen areas too small to get any use out of, and has a small cracked and leaking swimming pool that's currently the color of ichor and a breeding ground for mosquitos.

The building itself may have been designed by some famous architect, but it reminds me of the pre-WWII navy housing over in Linda Vista and Serra Mesa. It's basically a long rectangle the width of the lot and maybe twenty feet wide. The window frames are falling apart, I don't think anything has been painted for at least thirty years, the carpet reminds me of my elementary school library (it's about that old, too).

There are at least three major cracks in the concrete slab floor. The wall paneling looks like it's probably original 1949, and was sitting in someone's mountain cabin before that. I counted seven major structural cracks in the wall before I got tired of the game, and any number of smaller ones. Nor is the ceiling exempt. I was kind of nervous it might fall in on me.

Why It Hasn't Sold: New on the market, and I wouldn't expect it to last. Structurally, that is.

Who it's Not Appropriate For: Anybody who can't afford to tear it down and start over - and that includes the landscaping. It may have been designed by some famous architect, but it's been maintained by Larry, Moe, and Curley, with assistance from the Addams Family.


Selling Points: It does have a reasonably large lot. Unfortunately, zoning in the area is solidly R1. I'd peg the likelihood of getting an up-zone at "none"

Who Should be Interested: Nobody. Danger, Will Robinson!

Why it's a Bargain: It's not. The only way to salvage this property is to "accidentally" run a bulldozer through it. Forty-seven times.


What I think I can get it for: Why would you want it? The owners aren't ready to be rational about this property. Let me go find you something else better. That's easy. The hard thing would be finding something worse!

Monthly Payment examples: I think if they paid me $1000 per month, I'd consider taking it off their hands.

With no down payment: They don't pay me, I don't take it.

With 20% down: 80% of nothing is still nothing.

Investment potential: If you keep it ten years and it averages only 5% annual average appreciation per year: Based upon a purchase price of 0, the property would still be a Money Pit. If you held it those ten years before selling, you would net whatever the negative of ten years of property taxes and insurance is. Not to mention what you'd have to pay to get rid of it.

To learn more: Why would you want to? I felt like I had wandered into a story by HP Lovecraft. I would be happier if I'd never seen it! But I escaped with my life and some small shreds of sanity!

Contact Information:

Dan Melson, Buyer's Agent
Action Realty Inc
9143 Mission Gorge Road, Suite A
Santee, CA 92071
619-449-0723 X 116

The IAEA and Script Zombies

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Attack of the script zombies: In the three days since the last time I've checked referrals, I've gotten 9500 zombie referrals tagged as coming from this page. Why am I not surprised that the International Atomic Energy Agency is not up to the task of keeping their computers under control?

North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran off the top of my head are reasons why I'm not surprised.

By comparison, my next biggest source has sent me 530 hits for the entire month of March.

Or maybe all their employees are looking for San Diego real estate because that's 8000 miles away from the damage they are doing. Fallout carries.

Humorous test

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A co-worker sent me this.

It's that time of year to take our annual mental acuity test. Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it's important to keep mentally alert. If you don't use it, you lose it! Below is a very private way to gauge your loss or non-loss of intelligence. Take the test presented here to determine if you're losing it or not. The spaces below are so you don't see the answers until you've made your answer. OK, relax, clear your mind and begin.

1. What do you put in a toaster?

2. Say "silk" five times. Now spell "silk." What do cows drink?

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?

4. It's twenty years ago, and a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over Germany (If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany.) Anyway, during the flight, TWO engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the engine fails before he can do so and the plane fatally crashes smack in the middle of "no man's land" between East Germany and West Germany. Where would you bury the survivors? East Germany, West Germany, or no man's land"?

5. Without using a calculator - You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales. In London, 17 people get on the bus; In Reading, six people get off the bus and nine people get on. In Swindon, two people get off and four get on In Cardiff , 11 people get off and 16 people get on. In Swansea, three people get off and five people get on In Carmathen, six people get off and three get on. You then arrive at Milford Haven. What! was the name of the bus driver ?

How did you score?

0: Al Sharpton, Jerry Falwell

1: Nancy Pelosi, Dennis Hastert

2: Barbara Boxer, Pat Robertson

3: Marginally functional, but don't drive in freeway or rush hour traffic

4: Probationary adult. Don't let it go to your head.

5. Congratulations, you're good to go for another year.

Now pass this along to all your friends and pray they do better than you.

PS: 95% of people fail most of the questions!!

What a Difference 30 years Make!

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My wife sent this to me:

Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.

1973 - Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.

2006 - School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.


Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1973 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

2006 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark, charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.


Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

1973 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by

Principal. Sits still in class.

2006 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.


Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.

1973 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2006 - Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.


Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school.

1973 - Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on the smoking dock.

2006 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.


Scenario: Mary turns up pregnant.

1973 - 5 High School Boys leave town. Mary does her senior year at a special school for expectant mothers.

2006 - Middle School Counselor calls Planned Parenthood, who

notifies the ACLU. Mary is driven to the next state over and gets an abortion without her parent's consent or knowledge. Mary given condoms and told to be more careful next time.


Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.

1973 : Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

2006 : Pedro's cause is taken up by state democratic party. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can't speak English.


Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1973 - Ants die.

2006 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.


Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary, hugs him to comfort him.

1973 - In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2006 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison.


Now, is there anyone who believes any of these 2006 resolutions are preferable to the comparable one of 1973?

Perhaps we can start restoring some sanity in 2007?


Today's Turkey

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Over at my other site, I've got a feature called "Hot Bargain Properties" Being as the market is swinging more strongly to the buyers every day, it's what you might call a "target rich environment". On the other hand, there are still folks in denial, and just plain "What were you thinking" moments. Since a typical realtor won't talk down anything, no matter how ridiculous, I thought I'd post one of those. The format is similar to my Hot Bargain Properties posts.


General: East County, 3 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Asking price $575,000.

Why you should be interested: You shouldn't. Nobody should. It's a nice house, and if it were somewhere else, it might be worth every penny. But here it is an uninhabitable waste of property tax money every six months. At $575,000, that's roughly $600 per month, $3600 spent twice per year.

Selling Points: It's gorgeous on the inside. Spacious rooms, beautiful kitchen, nice brand new carpet. The whole property is basically brand new. Pity that ten feet outside your front door is a neighborhood that looks like it came from Deliverance. I haven't seen the inbred mutant banjo player yet, but I keep looking every time I drive through on my way to something else.

Why I think it's a potential bargain: I don't. If somebody gave me this property, I'd give to some charity or deed it back to the county immediately. Less trouble than trying to sell it for $1, or finding a deaf person who wants to buy it. The only way you might be able to live here is inside a hundred foot deep multilayered bunker.

Obvious caveats: The fact that it's less than a quarter-mile off the departure end of the main use runway of an airport might be something you'd like brought to your attention, as if you wouldn't know immediately. I don't know how they sold the other homes in the development. Maybe the wind had shifted on that day and the planes were using the crossing runway. I don't know why I wasted pixels taking a picture, but I had to wait for a Piper Cherokee to clear the picture window. It filled the whole thing. I love small planes, but there is no way I could stay here one night. The noise was bad enough with just the little trainers that were hopping around the pattern. This airport gets some fairly large aircraft and corporate jets, and has a regular traffic in retired World War II planes (and older!), all of which are noisier than most people would believe. I worked at that airport, and I know of two crashes in the field that used to be where this development sits. Just a matter of time before someone falls out of the sky on one of these homes.

Why it hasn't sold already: Left as an exercise for the reader. Actually, it's a private sale, not from the developer, so it did sell once. Go Mark Twain one better. Idiots. School Boards. The owners of these. I'd say two better and name the developer, but evidently the universe developed bigger idiots. Or a bigger fool. You can look out the window at runway centerline, for crying out loud.

If you keep it ten years and it averages only 5% annual average appreciation per year: Based upon a $575,000 asking price, this property will be worthless.

Fact you should be aware of: Open your eyes and look around. Feel the vibrations from the aircraft overhead! Reach out and touch one! (Actually, please don't try. You might be able to!)

Obvious way to enhance value or appeal of property: Getting rid of the airport would be one, but I know the provenance of that airport land. Isn't going to happen. The county not only makes a mint off of that airport, but in order to close it they would have to pay the federal government at least billions and I believe tens of billions of dollars. Not. Going. To. Happen.

I'm a buyer's agent, so I'm not afraid to make fun of stuff like this. If this owner came to me to list it, I'd probably make like one of Ted Striker's seatmates in Airplane!

Don't call me on this one. Please, I'm begging you. Properties like this are a Realtor's version of Slasher movies. You're stuck in a roomful of rabid dogs sharks lawyers and their idiots shills clients, and nobody else gets out alive!

Caveat Emptor, for the love of humanity!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that they are building a freeway that will come within one block of this property!.

Who's Next

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I was going over my read list and Politechnical asked the question "Who's next?" which I read just as my Tom Lehrer CD had gotten to the relevant song.

I couldn't resist a chance to turn Mr. Lehrer on his head with an optimistic version.

Afghans got the freedom and that was good

For they love peace and brotherhood

Iraq got the freedom and that's okay

The world is safer with Saddam Away

Who's next?

Georgia got the freedom,

have no fears

No Old World trail of tears

Ukraine got Orange Freedom,

don't you grieve

they're on our side


Who's next?

Libya and Egypt claimed that they

Were gonna get some any day

Some Americans want two,

that's right

one for the left and one for the right

Who's next?

Philippines will get some too

just to ward off you know who

Islam is getting tense

wants more in self defense

"Mullahs are the leaders, says the Koran,

But they're a joke - you don't elect imams!"

Who's next?

Lebanon is next in line,

in the wake of Ba'ath decline

we won't try to stay calm

when the whole world has freedom

Who's next, who's next, WHO'S NEXT?

(With apologies to the late great DeForrest Kelley)

Just got off the phone with an agent I know who had an interesting experience today. One of this agent's listings called. Actually his significant other did, because the guy fell down in pain. Still somewhat conscious, but in lots of pain.

Now, if I were in a situation like that, my real estate agent would not be high on the list of people I would call. And in Agent X's defense, the first thing he said was, "Call 911!"

"I don't want to do that because it'll cost $800!"

Okay, first guess goes to stroke - as in brain damage. Call 911: You're more likely to live. Call your real estate agent: You'll be dead, but your corpse will be $800 richer. Or in the case of a stroke: You may live through it, but your vegetable will be $800 richer, thereby requiring all kinds of expensive care.

Not wanting to offend a client, Agent X told me he quickly relented, drove down, bundled the client in his car, and took him to Emergency. Guess what the diagnosis was? Heart Attack. The Universe only knows what would have happened had he been further away or if it was rush hour.

Of course I told this around the office, names filed off to protect the insane. It's making its way around the real estate community. I've already had another person call and ask, "Did you hear about..." Now it's here, where everybody can laugh. This is too good not to pass on.

(And no, there's no violation of confidentiality here)

Just goes to show: You can pay one way now, or pay another way later.

Live Fast. Die Cheap. Leave a stupid looking corpse.

Caveat Emptor.

Top Smart Replies of 2005

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My wife sent me this


Smart Ass Answer #5:

A flight attendant was stationed at the departure gate to check tickets. As a man approached, she extended her hand for the ticket, instead he opened his trench coat and flashed her. Without missing a beat....she said, "Sir, I need to see your ticket not your stub."

Smart Ass Answer #4:

A lady was shopping for a turkey at the grocery store, but she couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" The stock boy replied," No ma'am they're dead."

Smart Ass Answer #3:

The cop got out of his car and the kid who was stopped for speeding rolled down his window. "I've been waiting for you all day," the cop said. The kid replied, "Yeah, well I got here as fast as I could." When the cop finally stopped laughing, he sent the kid on his way - without a ticket.

Smart Ass Answer #2:

A truck driver was driving along on the freeway. A sign comes up that reads, "Low Bridge Ahead." Before he knows it, the bridge is right Ahead of him and he gets stuck under the bridge. Cars are backed up for miles. Finally, a police car comes up. The cop gets out of his car and walks up to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says, "Got stuck, huh?" The truck driver says, "No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of gas."


A college teacher reminds her class of tomorrow's final exam. "Now class, I won't tolerate any excuses for you not being here tomorrow. I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury or illness, or a death in your immediate family, but that's it, no other excuses whatsoever!"

A smart ass guy in the back of the room raised his hand and asked, "What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?" The entire class is reduced to laughter and snickering. When silence is finally restored, the teacher smiles knowingly at the student, shakes her head and sweetly says "Well, I guess you'd have to write the exam with your other hand.

On Fisking

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Say Uncle asks Where did all the fisking go?

Fisking can be funny. Fisking is easy. Fisking is good for poking holes, whether actual or illusory. But if you're looking for a cohesive rational argument for a position other than your target's position, fisking does not lend itself easily to building such an argument, making it ultimately a weak tool. Especially if you're looking to build such argument in such a way as to ultimately convince those in the audience on the other side.

In short, if you're looking for laughs from those already on your side, fisking works. If you're looking to make converts, it doesn't. I'm usually looking to make converts, and even when I'm just after a laugh, a single fisking on a subject can easily poison the audience you might have convinced with all of your other posts. Fisking is an ego-based attack. I prefer intelligence-based attacks.

This is not to say I don't enjoy a good fisking. But if I wanted to turn a potential terrorist into a convert to the cause of civilization, I would send them to Powerline or Volokh Conspiracy, where the discourse is always reasoned and issue oriented, not Misha or IMAO.

Lord of the (Blog) Rings

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Lord of the (Blog) Rings

With all of the time I'm spending lately at certain website following the buzz and tracking what's being said in various communities and topics of the blogosphere, this just seemed a necessary tribute when I thought of it in a sleep deprived state.

I'm sure it can be improved upon, as I'm not much of a poet even when my mental state is at its sharpest.

My apologies if it's been done before.


Ten Rings for Higher Beings in Their Hallowed Halls

Twenty Rings For Mortal Beings doomed to vie

Five score rings for the top three things in their slots on high

One place for the Bear Lord in his house of links

Changing topics to rule them all

Communities to bind them

One Bear to bring them all

And to the Blogswarm bind them

In the land of N. Z. where traffics lie.

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