Do you need an agent, it depends

First off, we’ve always used an agent for a pretty simple reason, most of the time when we’ve been buying, it has been into neighborhoods we haven’t known that well. While 3% off the top can seem like a lot, if you have a good agent, you can at least know how you are doing value wise. The key is finding a good one. On the other hand, if you are just buying one of 200 condos in a large building, things are less clear.

In our experience, the best agents are those who have been in business a long time and really know their neighborhoods and most importantly the seller psychology. While sites like Zillow are great and you can definitely do it yourself, the process is amazingly complex and you can end up in a confused state.

Still, I would say, if you really know the area where you are, you’ve bought houses before (uh oh, I think you are first time), I kind of think of a real estate agent, a good one as insurance.

Second point is that it pays to know who the good listing agents are. They are folks who find the high quality homes. Wendy Lister (no pun intended) on the east side, Barbara (I forgot her name, but will remember shortly) in Madison Park and Anne Dover at the very high end in Seattle are some folks who are well known and have a reputation to protect.

Great place and great eggs

It’s a little out of the way, but an institution on Madrona. I’m surprised I can’t find it with Judy’s Book, but here it is on A9 Maps,55000&mimg=914aadcf0ce6fffe,1&mstr=34th%20Ave&ypLoc=1000%20Boren%20Ave%2C%20Seattle%2C%20WA%2098104&mll=47.61289954238346,-122.28932241455185,47.60773871693669,-122.29697353730622,47.613178419414425,-122.28932241455185 and here it is with google local,+WA&sa=X&oi=locald&radius=0.0&latlng=47606389,-122330833,5377379225633446724

An awesome spot, no pun intended, the eggs are particularly good. Try the baked eggs and the cinnamon rolls are superb.

They rival $1,000 speakers

Well, on the going deaf part, I think the main thing is don’t turn your iPod up to deafening levels. Seriously, its really about not blasting them. The easiest way to do this is to watch and make sure you don’t turn it up too high *and* to get headphones that deaden the sound.

Etymotic at is a little bit of a niche brand, but audiophiles swear by it. There is a great site called that explains all this. YOu can get these by the way at

The 6i are expensive at about $100, but they are amazing in terms of sound quality. If you really go crazy, the $200 Etymotic 4’s have beat $20,000 speakers in blind hearing tests.

I actually got both of these and can say folks are usually incredibly amazed. Why is this? Well, Etymotic is actually a hearing aid company, so the actual speakers fit inside your ears. Makes them phenomenal for working out at the gym or on an airplane. They reduce the noise by 20dB (Ask Jeff what that means, but it is essentailly 99% quiet). And they are super tiny as well and not bulky like the big Bose ones.

Qiming Ventures

It’s been cooking for a while, but “Qiming Ventures”: is the head geek’s latest revenge of the nerds. I’ve had a terrific change to meet wonderful folks in China. Duane, Edward and Gary are the best. We are in the middle of setting it up, but basically, we are raising $200M to invest in new […]

Judy’s book blog FAQ for MovableType

OK, just a few notes on this for folks who are doing it. First, if you have MovableType 3.2, they added this strange thing called API Password mainly because of spam attacks, so make sure to fill it in with something reasonable as it is a random number generator.

Judysbook code that goes to MovableType will fail somethings with a message something like, “Underlying connection lost” so you have to hit retry.

The biggest surprise though is that if you have 160 entries like me, there is no way to just export all of them. Instead there is an optional radio button that frankly should be checked all the time.

In terms of actual use:

OK, I got this working. I have seen three problems so far:

1. Judy’s book can time out and think a post didn’t work, but it did, so I usually get two posts for the price of one at on So you should make sure to check your actual website when it fails. There looks like some differences of opinion between judysbook and on timeouts would be my guess.

2. The actual HTML sent doesn’t have the right carriage returns, it looks like just one massive string when you try to edit it in MovableType is a impossible.

Judy’s Book and w.bloggar Invalid Login

Movable Type Knowledge Base: Invalid Login with Third Party Clients. Hey I am now using Judy’s Book for doing all reviews. So I needed to use the so called third party client API. Beware, that if you moved to MovableType 3.2, there is now a new parameter called the API Password which is used for […]

Stop 0x00000024 and no Running Apps in the Toolbar

Well, I seem to have a growing list of Windows problems that makes me want to reinstall, but just to list: # First, one machine just blue screen with a Stop 0x00000024. This is an error in ntfs.sys. Sounds like I’d better check the file system. A search reveals that this could be a virus, […]

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