Clams have been around for more than 500 million years. They range from nearly microscopic to gigantic and can weigh up to 400 lbs. Clams live in both fresh and salt water. All clams are not considered edible, but all have hinged shells and are filter feeders. Clams have kidneys, a heart, a mouth, a stomach, a nervous system and an anus. Most clams reproduce by discharging sperm and eggs into the water where fertilization occurs.

Clams can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, baked or fried. Clams are eaten all around the worldand are most popular in North America, Japan, Italy, India, and Trinidad. All clams should be cooked gently to prevent toughening. Clams are high in protein and contain a good amount of calcium and iron. Clams are sold live in the shell, fresh or frozen shucked, and canned. When buying hard-shell clams in the shell, make sure the shells are tightly closed. If a shell is slightly open, tap it lightly. If it doesn’t snap shut, the clam is dead and should be discarded. Some of the healthiest and most popular clams are the Softshell clam, Butter clam, and Manila clam.
Clamshells have even been used as a form of currency amongst Native Americans called “wampum”.

Anthony Pierpont
Anthony Pierpont

United States Union & Confederate Flag

United States Union & Confederate Flag

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

November 6, 1860 – Abraham Lincoln, who had declared “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free…” is elected president, the first Republican, receiving 180 of 303 possible electoral votes and 40 percent of the popular vote.

United States Flag 1861
United States Flag 1861

The admission of Kansas as our 34th state in January, 1861 led to a flag of 34 stars. At this time was our official flag for all.  Among the 34 states in January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America


The Confederate States of America then formed their own rebel flag. It evolved over time.


First national flag: “The Stars and Bars” (1861–1863)

Stars & Bars
Stars & Bars – First national flag with 7 stars (March 4, 1861 – May 21, 1861)
Stars and Bars
Stars & Bars – First national flag with 13 stars (November 28, 1861 – May 1, 1863)

Second national flag: “The Stainless Banner” (1863–1865)

stainless banner

Third national flag: “The Blood-Stained Banner” (1865)

stainless blood

Battle flag


Civil War 1861-1865

civil war

The war had its origin in the fractious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. After four years of combat, which left over 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead and destroyed much of the South’s infrastructure, the Confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished in the South.

Lake Beaches

Anthony Pierpont
Lake Beaches

Lake Beaches

It is almost always free to swim at a lake beach as far as I know. You can usually bring food and beverages and bring a cooler to keep the things you want cold. Alcohol is usually not allowed. Some lake beaches offer a dock outside of the swimming area if you are into fishing and a playground nearby for the little ones. Some lake beaches have concession stands, pavilions, grills, restrooms and lifeguards. These are certainly bonuses for a lake side beach, but rarely will you find all of the above, unless it is an extremely popular beach. Most lake beaches also have plenty of space to throw around a football or Frisbee and set up a few chairs for sitting or sunbathing. One drawback of lake beaches is contamination. There are fish and other lake animals that deficate and urinate in the water. There is plant life and algae that can make it more dangerous to swim, by getting tangled up in it. Also, you should be updated with current water conditions; this could be high or low levels, infestations of water fleas, zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, Flowering rush, and carp.

In any case always prepare for your day on the lake beach so that everyone is comfortable. Here is a short list to consider:

  • Sunscreen, especially for the little ones and those of a lighter complexion
  • Sunglasses, which I forget half of the time, UV rays can cause damage to the retina which you won’t discover until later
  • Plenty of water, be prepared there might not be fresh water available at that location, you can still get dehydrated while submerged in water
  • Life jackets, water wings, and goggles, you might not want to keep your eyes open for too long in lake water because of bacteria and if there is no lifeguard it’s best to have your child in a secondary protection beside your own eyes.
  • Chairs are nice in case all of the picnic tables are full and you don’t want to be on the hot sand
  • Food or snacks if there is no concession stand and you or the kids need a little refueling as swimming takes a lot out of you
  • Towels and dry clothes, it’s nice to grab a towel when that cold wind blows in or it’s time to get in the car and you don’t want your seats wet


After all is said and done and you have left the house, once you get to the beach you will be glad that you prepared and enjoy it even more.

Breckenridge Township, Colorado

Main Street, Breckenridge
Main Street, Breckenridge

Breckenridge is the home rule municipality and the most populous in Summit County. The last population census indicated 4,540 residents in 2010, not including part-time residents and vacation homes.

The mountains surrounding Breckenridge offer excellent views of the mountains and the nature that thrives in it. During the summer the wild plants and their colors splash areas of the mountains canopied only by the tall narrow lodge poll pines. Residents and tourists are out enjoying the weather, hiking, biking, exploring, and shopping. Less than a minute or so up the mountain and you are in completely different world. Just the whisper of a breeze and a few restless birds chirping.

Blue River
Blue River

In the winter, snowy mountains attract another crowd of enthusiast that love to ski and enjoy the snowy winter activities. The bustle of gondolas and chair lifts are at the heart of the operation.

Breckenridge, CO in the winter
Breckenridge, CO in the winter

Summer or winter there is no shortage of athleticism and energy in the residents of Breckenridge. I could definitely see why someone would want to live here. The afternoons are warm and sunny and the nights cool down, but there is no end to the subtle breeze that blows through the hills and mountains, making a good night sleep more than likely.


Great White Shark
Great White Shark

The bottom line is that sharks live in the water and we do not, it is their home, not ours. Sharks do not necessarily hunt people, we don’t have a good ratio of meat to bone to be on their menu and it is also suggested that we don’t even taste good. Unfortunately for us sharks need to be able to take a bite in order for them to taste us, just like we do when we eat. The sharks main objective is to consume as much fat and protein as possible with the least amount of effort. Sometimes we just get in the way or are mistaken for something else such as a seal or a turtle. From the murky depths below we are just a silhouette in the sea.

Bull sharks are actually the most aggressive and will attack for any reason. They grow between 5 and 6 feet, but are plenty equipped to take down a human. Bull sharks are also able to convert from salt water to brackish water, and even freshwater. Great whites are most deadly because of their abilities to hunt and destroy their prey with massive biting force. These sharks grow between 16 and 20 feet long weighing up to 4,500 lbs. Their prey consists of seals, turtles, and whales and can smell blood from 3 miles away. Great whites are an apex predator and are required in the oceans food chain of checks and balances. California’s coast is the most dangerous because of the numerous attacks by Great White Sharks.

There are some factors which definitely contribute to being attacked by any meat eating shark.

  • Loud noise and splashing
  • Bright colors like yellow, white, and orange
  • Rapid movement

Since sharks can capsize small boats the only way to be certain you will not be bitten by a shark is to stay out of the water.

Bull Shark
Bull Shark

Declaration of Independence

“Committee of Five, 1776” by John Trumbull – US Capitol. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –,_1776.png#/media/File:Committee_of_Five,_1776.png

Independence Day 2015!


Saturday, July 4, 2015 The United States of America will officially be 239 years old. July 2nd,  1776 is the day that congress voted and declared independence, the final draft of the document “The Declaration of Independence” was approved on July 4th, which essentially declared The United States (at that time the United Colonies) independent from British rule, Great Britain.

On July 3rd, 1776 John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail:


“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”


It is a cause for celebration that we remain a free and United States. Even though it is not a military holiday, it is this declaration of freedom that our military fights to protect from any country with malicious intentions towards the US.

Anthony Pierpont
Anthony Pierpont







Should I buy a home with a short sale? part III

Anthony Pierpont
Anthony Pierpont

The last question you should have your Realtor ask is if they have already started the short sale and where it is at in the process.  They may have had another buyer who just got tired of the waiting game and cancelled the sale to purchase another home.  If this is the case ask if the BPO, Brokers Price Opinion, has been done.  This is a market analysis that banks do on the home to insure they are selling for the correct market price.  So if you are buying a short sale thinking you are getting a home for under the market value then put that thinking away.  You are not and the bank will insure that you do not.   If the BPO is done by the lender or lenders this will drastically decrease the amount of time it will take before you have an answer on your purchase.

The amount of time it takes to complete a short sale varies.  If you were to put a time limit on it I would say a normal short sale takes between three to six months.  That said I have seen short sales take a year.  But that was in a very extreme case.  After all that time your short sale may not be approved and the bank will put it in foreclosure if it has not already done so.  The why of it has always escaped me?  I have seen banks do some very crazy things when it comes to these loans.  I have a friend that deals with these who had a home I helped with, that needed a short sale.  The people owed in one loan $800,000 on the home and the house would only sell for $480,000.  There was only one loan and the bank said no to a short sale.  They then put it into foreclosure and purchased the home themselves at the Sheriffs Sale for $280,000.  Fortunately for my friend and his sellers the bank did not take the time to look at our state laws.  The law specifically states that if the home is purchased at Sheriff’s Sale then the all that needs to be done to satisfy the loan is to pay the bid amount not the loan amount.  My friend brought back the buyers.  Sold the home for $480,000.  Paid off the bid amount and put over $150,000 in his sellers pockets.  The bank actually lost over $150,000.  Just does not make sense does it.  Welcome to the world of short sales.

So to answer the question should you buy a short sale?  Yes if you are willing to wait the extended period of time it takes to get one done.  Yes if you are alright with the bank saying no and then having to walk away after all that time.  Yes if you realize that you are not getting the deal of the century and that the home is going to sell for the market value.  However, it is important to note that I always try to steer my clients away from them for the above reasons.