Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.




The first three digits in your Social Security number mean something. For instance, 545-573 and 602-626 indicate you are a native Californian. 268-302, an Ohioan.

That’s history. Effective Saturday, newly issued Social Security numbers (SSNs) will have no geographical significance. The “Social Security Number Randomization” policy hits.

New Gavins, Emmas and Destinys will get random SSNs.


I read about the randomization policy in the Social Security Administration/IRS quarterly newsletter to employers.

I look at Social Security numbers a lot because I’m a landlord. One apartment applicant wrote his SSN as 900-. There are no 900-999s. I turned him down on the spot. Likewise, there are no 000s-. And I don’t rent to 666-; that’s the devil’s number, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t stock it.

The SSA website says, “If your [SSN] concerns are firmly rooted in your religious beliefs or cultural traditions, Social Security will review your request.”

The new randomization policy will extend the number of available SSNs. There are 435 million unused numbers. Dead people’s numbers go to the grave with them.

What about a vanity SSN? Are the feds thinking of that?

They should. Parents might pay $100 for a snazzy SSN — say, a 999-. Something that would stand out on Baby Emma’s college application 17 years from now.

Just say no to randomization.

Baby Emma is not a random number. And Gavin is an Ohioan — a proud Buckeye. Destiny, she is a California girl (602-).


Joe Buckeye


Due to a computer glitch, this post (“Just Say No to Randomization”) didn’t go up on Wednesday June 22. It went up today, Saturday June 25.


Here’s an op-ed I wrote for the Cleveland Plain Dealer last Sunday. “Harvey Pekar’s Hollywood Hustle.”

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1 Kenny G { 06.27.11 at 11:06 am }

If the feds start using 900s it will eliminate the possibility of your detecting a bad prospective tenant trying to get away with supplying one of those numbers….

2 MARC { 06.29.11 at 3:28 pm }

What about that sit-com placed in Cleveland with that song “Cleveland Rocks”? Did that do a lot for the good citizens of Cleveland’s self esteem?

There was a TV show “Providence” that was on the air a few years. One of the guys from “MASH” was the vet. They told us before they shot the show that they would make Providence look beautiful, and they did.

They sent a camera crew to fly over the nicer parts of the city, and they used that for the show’s intro. The episodes were filmed in Hollywood, but once a year they would send a camera crew to take local shots. Supposedly the show helped tourism.

3 Bert { 06.29.11 at 4:43 pm }

To Marc:

You saying Clevelanders have a self-esteem problem?

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