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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Man Turns Dark BLUE !

His name is Paul Karason, and he's blue. It's not makeup or paint.
This is out there for sure.

How To Buy Your Own Private Island

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The private island is more than just a status symbol for the Richard Bransons and Larry Pages of the world, it is the ultimate retreat from the stresses and demands of today’s 9-5 rat race. Surprisingly, owning your own tropical island paradise isn’t reserved for dot com moguls and skinny heiresses– prices start in the low six figures. From there, the sky (and the ocean) is the limit. Start saving now, Cravers– and continue reading below on how you can buy your own little piece of paradise…

The Money

Purchasing a private island is not unlike buying any other piece of real estate– and there are plenty of websites which list only island-related properties. Private Islands Online is just one of them, but this site offers a complete list of price ranges for the moguls and middle managers alike. Would you believe that some of these islands go for as little as $200 thousand? And we aren’t talking about some sort of cannibal-filled hellhole, either. Consider Paradise Cay, off the coast of Nicaragua for sale at $225K. This 2.5 acre island is accessible by speedboat via river or sea, and is about 60 miles north of a town called Bluefields. Two and a half acres in Chicago would cost literally millions. This sunny paradise goes for under a quarter mil.

There are a few things you need to do when sorting out the funds for a private island:

  • Get pre-approval for the projected purchase price. This makes you a competetive bidder instead of a window shopper. You won’t be taken as seriously otherwise.

  • Before you apply for that pre-approval, clean up your credit. Get rid of credit rating liabilities you may have such as a big potential debt ratio on unused credit cards and contest any blemish on your credit report.

  • Negotiate terms–many island purchases require between a modest 10 percent and outrageous 50 percent down.

  • Investigate the company you are purchasing from. Ask your lender about the reputation of the company you are about to deal with and get a real estate lawyer involved who understands the issues.

Your expenses for buying a private island will also include paying appraisal fees, property taxes, docking fees for boats, and any development needed to make the island livable. You may need to pay for wells, construction or repair of a boat dock, installation of generators and fuel, and supplies to make the first month’s stay comfortable.

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(all photos courtesy of Ahmed Zahid)

The Island

Any serious real estate purchase requires a look at the property. What’s the condition of the island? Is it developed? In a pristine natural state? Somewhere in between? No seller will take you seriously unless you are prepared to come out and take a look, so even if you haven’t gotten your travel budget sorted out, tell the agent you’d like to arrange a viewing as soon as it’s convenient for both of you. Ask some important questions before you take the trip and you could save yourself some serious headaches:

  • What is the property’s history of tropical storms, natural disasters, or other problems?

  • Is the property near any military test ranges for aircraft, missiles, Navy ships, or other vehicles?

  • Is the island on a flight path for private or commercial aircraft?

  • How far away is the nearest airport? Hospital? Helipad?

  • What is the water situation on the island itself? Will I need to dig wells?

  • Who lives nearby?

  • Is the property subject to mining, oil drilling, or other mineral rights issues? What about the waterway adjacent to the property?

  • Are there tribal or indigenous claims to any part of the island or its natural resources?

Asking these questions will give you an excellent idea of whether or not you still want to fly all the way out to have a look. If buying the property means becoming embroiled in some local struggle over rights and natural resources, or if your island is right next door to the Navy’s missile test firing range, you know you’ll be taking a pass. For those that get acceptable answers to your quesiotns, do some additional homework on the lifestyle in the area you’re buying in. has a wide range of articles on just about every getaway known to man–a good starting place for research on the area you might soon be calling your home or home away from home.

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The Lifestyle

Island life isn’t for everyone. If you’ve got a strong independent streak, can deal with problems and unforseen issues and still keep your head glued on straight, a private island could be for you. Being handy with a toolkit helps, and so does knowing your own limitations. Private islands are often a long way from the nearest hospital, so if you don’t have your own medical staff, being on good physical condition is definitely part of the game plan.

  • Fully developed islands are more expensive, but require less personal time and energy on your part.

  • A partially-developed island with the necessities is a good mid-priced option, but prepare to use your handyman skills

  • An island in its natural state will take a lot of time and development to make livable unless you want to play out your Gilligan’s Island fantasies.

  • If you are not a loner, don’t sequester yourself on a secluded island. You’ll go bonkers.

If you are tempted to buy an island, but aren’t sure you can handle it, the best thing you can do is to rent a private island and give that experience a chance to sink in. Renting is the closest you can get to ownership without actually taking the plunge, and there are many reputable agencies offering gorgeous getaways. Virgin Airlines owner Richard Branson’s Necker Island starts about about $33,000 per night and comes with a staff member for every guest. The Spanish Isla de sa Ferradur has salons, a spa, Turkish bath, and other amenities; your’re not exactly forced to rough it under these conditions. is a great place to begin searching for your own private island getaway rental property. Rent or buy? Try it on for size and see.

Your private island paradise awaits. Scrape up some petty cash, make a few arrangements, and you’re well on your way to a whole new adventure. Just be sure to invite us out for a nice weekend after you’ve taken our advice.

Yngwie showing what he can do with an acoustic

Simpson's House In Real World

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Papelbon says the dog ate it?

The baseball from the final out of the 2007 World Series is at Jonathan Papelbon's home in Hattiesburg, Miss., according to the Hattiesburg American.

Well, part of it is.

The rest? You should ask the Boss.

If he could talk, he might say it was delicious. But the most he'll say is "woof."

"Boss," you see, is Jonathan Papelbon's dog. Boss likes to play with baseballs. And Boss found the baseball that Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek gave the closer after he struck out the Rockies' Seth Smith to clinch Boston's second World Series title in four years, the newspaper reported.

And Papelbon was left with a common excuse for not doing one's homework to explain what happened to a historic baseball artifact.

"My dog ate it," Papelbon told the newspaper. "He plays with baseballs like they are his toys. His name is Boss. He jumped up one day on the counter and snatched it. He likes rawhide. He tore that thing to pieces.

"I'll keep what's left of it," he told the paper.

Chismillionare eager for the Diesel Invasion

At the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, BMW was prominently displaying their diesel engine technology, particularly the latest 3.0L twin turbocharged in-line six cylinder. At the time, BMW spokesman Daniel Kammerer told us that BMW would be introducing that diesel engine to the U.S. market later in 2008. BMW still hasn't said which vehicles would get the diesel although it's expected that that the first installations will be in the X5 SUV and 5 series sedans and possibly the new X6 crossover.

While the diesel engines of twenty years ago were thrifty with fuel, they did earn the reputation which diesels hold among American consumers to this day: slow, noisy and smoky. While that reputation may have been deserved then, nothing could be further from the truth today. The engine in the 535d is a 3.0L in-line six cylinder in the classic BMW configuration. Fuel is delivered directly to the combustion chambers via a Bosch Piezo Common Rail injection system and air is pumped in by a pair of turbochargers. The result of all this high-pressure action is 286 hp and, more importantly, 428 lb-ft of torque at only 1750 rpm. As with all diesels this is not a high revving screamer with the red-line at a relatively modest 5,000 rpm. However the almost flat torque curve combines with a 6 speed automatic transmission to provide fabulous acceleration that never seems to let up. If feels more like an electric motor if you ignore the pleasant exhaust growl. BMW rates the acceleration from 0-62 mph at 6.4 seconds and that was backed up by my informal observations, even on less than dry pavement.


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Aussie girls selling themselves for beer: Study

NO CHEER: A study says children as young as 10 were being treated for alcohol abuse.

Melbourne: Alcoholism is so rampant among Australian youngsters that girls as young as 11 get into prostitution just for a couple of cans of beer, a report by Sydney's Odyssey House revealed.

The annual report said children as young as 10 were being admitted to Odyssey's treatment program for alcohol abuse.

According to Sydney youth campaigner and head of Youth Off the Streets, Father Chris Riley, it was not surprising that the report showed that kids as young as 10 were abusing alcohol. Father Riley said that his personal experiences helping troubled kids were echoed in the report.

"In some of the communities we're working in at 9.30 in the morning, 12- (and) 13-year-olds have bottles of Jack Daniels in their hands, and it is just shocking the way these things are available to kids," quoted Father Riley, as saying.

He added: "In one of our communities we work in, a group of girls aged between 11 and 16 go down to the bars and clubs at 1am, because that is when they will close, and will prostitute themselves simply for a can or two of beer. This is common throughout the communities we're working in."

"We're opening more and more liquor outlets, more and more access to alcohol... and we just don't get it, we just keep making it more available," said Father Riley.

"These kids can get access to alcohol whenever they want, and that is just not good enough,” he added.

He supported product labelling that warn kids about the dangers of drinking and called for alco-pops to be banned.

"I keep saying: 'Let's put labels on alcohol products saying that alcohol does brain damage to adolescents'," he said.

He added, "Let's take away those alco-pops which are targeting teens. Kids don't like the taste of alcohol, they like the effects that alcohol has on them, but they can get an alcoholic drink that tastes like a soft drink."

The Awesome Alain Robert - aka SpiderMan

Chismillionare's Thursday recipe of the week

Egg Nog

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites*
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

Cook's Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.

Just in time for the Holidays - Children's Books